Inhaled Insulin Exubera by Pfizer Discontinued? What Happened?

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer has decided to discontinue their inhaled insulin Exubera. The inhaled insulin Exubera was classified as a second generation form of insulin and it was thought that this development in insulin technology would take off…didn’t happen. But why?

Pfizer has reported that Exubera, which was an inhaled powder insulin product geared towards type1 and type2 diabetes, never found the acceptance of doctors and patients.

Pfizer announced on October 18th that they will no longer be producing Exubera, their announcement did make it clear that their discontinuation of the Inhaled Insulin Device decision was not based on any safety issues, it was totally due to lack of interest. In other words, they were not making enough money off of Exubera to make it worth producing the product any longer.

What caused such disinterest in this product? Pfizer is speculating that the bulky canister device used to administer the powered drug Exubera was a problem for patients. But do you really think that was the problem? Would people rather give themselves injections of insulin using needles than carry around a bulky container of inhaled insulin? I guess so.

What If You Are Currently Taking Exubera?

The Pfizer pharmaceutical company has made a decision to carry Exubera for the next three months. If you are currently taking Exubera you are urged to contact your doctor immediately to find an alternative product. But what other inhaled insulin products are available?

From what I can tell, the only inhaled insulin product that was even close to being released on the market is Ollinix. I found this product on a website called which announced that they were taking pre-orders for Ollinix’s release (date not given).

The only glitch I can see with Ollinix is that it is said to be a generic version of, you guessed it…Exubera. What impact the discontinuation of Exubera will have on the release of Ollinix is unclear. What I do know is that when I went to the actual website for Ollinix, the only text on there states: website coming soon.

New treatment options would have been nice sooner rather than later. See what Bernard and Amy have to say on this. I guess it’s back to the basics for diabetes patients who were currently using the second generation insulin in the form of an inhaled powder. For now…who knows what the future holds.


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