New Pfizer insulin inhaler hits the diabetes market

Tue, 25 Jul 2006
Exubera, the Pfizer inhaled insulin that is being awaited eagerly by diabetics across the globe, is to be marketed to doctors as from today. One diabetes sufferer in New York City, speaking on the possible negative effects on the lungs, said: "I'll take the potential negatives of an inhaled device over the insulin pump."

Pfizer are to release a sales army of 2,300 people, each travelling from doctor to doctor to promote the inhaler that is shaped like a water bottle. The first patients will receive their Exubera in September; just seven months after the FDA approved it for use.

Pfizer ran Exubera through major clinical trials involving 3,500 patients over a seven-year period. Pfizer is the largest drugmaker in the world, and could generate around $1.9 billion from Exubera alone, by 2010.

Predictably, Pfizer shares continued to climb. The impact of Exubera on many diabetic patients lives could be phenomenal, with needles and injections virtually a thing of the past. Learning the correct dosage of Exubera will be essential, experts said, and the drug should be avoided entirely by some people.

Currently the UK has voted not to pay for Exubera on the National Health Service.
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