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Another "innovative" Drug Ready to Bite the Dust

Despite a major marketing rush by Pfizer over the past six months to doctors, its latest diabetes drug, the inhaled insulin treatment Exubera, has all but failed, according to business estimates.

Expected at one time to be a "blockbuster drug" generating some $2 billion in worldwide sales, Exubera is prescribed just once out of every 500 times a diabetes patient needs insulin. Now, business analysts have lowered their estimates dramatically to just over $300 million in sales by 2012.

Pfizer has taken desperate measures to salvage their useless insulin contraption by shifting their advertising focus to consumers starting this summer. Even if prospective diabetes patients are interested in switching over to Exubera, up to now, health insurers have resisted paying more than double for an inhalable diabetes drug.

The same can't be said for Merck's latest diabetes drug, Januvia, that's been prescribed 25 times more often than Exubera, and just in America. The sad fact remains, no one needs a useless pill or an inhalable insulin to treat their diabetes if they're willing to make some simple lifestyle changes.

New York Times April 10, 2007 Registration Required

HeraldTribune.com April 10, 2007