Five Years Later, Diabetes Fail

Let’s flash back now to this very blog, January 20, 2006:

Pfizer Inc. hopes to begin selling Exubera, the first inhalable version of insulin to win federal approval, by midyear.

To which I wrote:

I’ll believe it when I see it, and not even then. I’ll believe it when there isn’t a class action suit a year later.


The promise of inhalable insulin has been around for as long as I’ve been diabetic — almost 19 years now. It’s right up there with the watch that will keep constant track of your blood sugar without taking blood. (That’s sorta out now, too, but with its own cavaets.)

In case you’re wondering what happened to this wonder drug, let’s consult Wikipedia:

As of October 18, 2007, Pfizer has announced that it will no longer manufacture or market Exubera. According to Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Kindler this is because Exubera “failed to gain acceptance among patients and physicians.”

At the time of Exubera’s discontinuation, several other companies were pursuing inhaled insulin… However, by March 2008, all of these products had been discontinued except for MannKind’s Afrezza product. As of March 2010 Afrezza was still under FDA review.

So, like I said, don’t get your hopes up when it comes to diabetes cures or medications.