Why Exubera failed

Simply put, Pfizer didn’t listen, or didn’t care, about what docs in the trenches thought. It cost them $2.8 billion.

A myriad of problems with the drug:

* it was expensive – almost 30% more expensive than traditional insulin
* insulin needles today are so small, they are pretty much painless
* the awkward, bong-style delivery system needs no further discussion
* the diabetic smokers would rather continue smoking than use Exubera
* regular PFTs are a pain in the ass. PCPs are already inundated enough during their 5-minute patient visits
* a stupid dosing system, with 1 mg = 3 units, and 3 mg = 8 units

I can go on, but you get the idea. Maybe if Pfizer would have considered the opinions of real, practicing physicians rather than their insulated pseudo-MDs, they could have saved themselves a few billion.

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  • Dr. Val

    I suppose that’s why the Sermo deal is appealing to them?

  • James Smythe

    No doubt that Exubera was expensive. However, if the other factors you outlined were not so bad, maybe it might not have failed.

    Pfizer might even have been able to justify charging higher if they have paid more attention to the delivery system!

    It is a shame that some patients’ treatment will now be disrupted!

    link:
    Why withdraw Exubera? http://www.digg.com/health/Why_withdraw_Exubera