Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lung cancer warning a death knell for inhaled insulin?

You know all those jokes about drugs where the side effectes are worse than the symptoms the product is supposed to help with?

Pfizer has updated the US product labeling of its inhaled insulin treatment Exubera to include a warning of increased risk of lung cancer among those using it.

Warning labels were issued as a consequence of a clinical trial in which 6 of the 4,740 Exubera-treated patients developed lung cancer, as opposed to 1 of the 4,292 patients not treated with Exubera.

The move is the latest twist in the downwards spiral of Exubera, which appears to have taken the whole inhaled insulin market down with it.

Exubera launched as the world's first inhalable insulin and was touted as a potential $2bn a year blockbuster. However, it was dogged by safety concerns, as well as complaints that the device was too expensive and cumbersome, leading to Pfizer abandoning the treatment.

link to full article

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