Two giant drugs’ manufacturers Pfizer Inc. and Alkermes Inc. are working on reducing the use of needles in the treatment of diabetes and developing insulin inhalers.
While the Pfizer Inc.’s new drug Exubera is expected to be launched next month, Alkermes Inc. is still experimenting, testing and observing patients’ reactions.
Although many diabetes patients have been injecting insulin for quite some time, they still dread it and are certainly looking forward to any treatment that would replace the need for daily injections.
Pfizer Inc’s Exubera will be placed in a device that would look like a can of shaving cream and would be used to boost insulin levels just before a meal.
There are still many factors to consider like higher costs of the inhalers and the need for patients to pay for it around $40 a month as well as the potential negative effect on the patients’ lungs that are not designed to absorb insulin. A two-year safety study on the drug showed a small decrease in lung function in study participants.
Although there are still many factors to consider, a survey showed that patients are looking forward to trying anything that would get them away from needles.