Pfizer Global Manufacturing has announced that they are planning to hire almost five hundred new employees and invest up to one hundred and seventy million dollars into the development of their new diabetes drug, Exubera.
The unique factor of this diabetes drug is that it will be inhaled through the mouth, rather than requiring the diabetic to inject the insulin into their body. This will, for all purposes, eliminate the need for needles, one of the more difficult aspects of life for millions of diabetics. Not only are the injections painful, but they are always sources of potential infections. The drug companies and medical professionals have given strong indication that there will be an excellent response to the new form of insulin.
This drug is a dry powder human insulin that will be taken into the mouth by the use of an inhaler. Users will inhale the medication prior to eating, and whenever else necessary. This is the first inhalable medication for diabetes that will treat both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in adults. The only diabetics that should not use the medication Exubera are those people with existing lung disease. The reason that adults with lung disease will not be able to use the drug is due to the decrease in lung capacity that is noted in individuals during the clinical trials. Most adults report that the inhaler is very simple and easy to use, and can even be used in public. It is small, weighting only about four ounces and it about the size of an eyeglass case.
There is a slight decrease in lung function noted in those individuals participating in the trial studies. This was estimated to be approximately one percent lung capacity lost per year, however the results were reversed when the drug was discontinued. Most humans over the age of 25 lose about the same amount of lung capacity per year regardless of using the drug.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes affects between five to ten percent of all diabetics, and this type of diabetes requires that the individual take insulin to stay alive. These people need to have regular injections throughout their lives, and until now there were few options to get away from this painful routine.
Inhalant insulin will eliminate the need for adults to inject themselves on a daily basis, and will allow them more freedoms and less restrictions due to the conditions that liquid insulin has to be stored under.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetics cannot manufacture or use insulin that is in the body properly, so they require supplements of insulin. It is estimate that between ninety and ninety-five percent of all diabetics fall into this category. It is also estimated that there are over 200 million diabetics worldwide, and the number is only growing every year.
Products such as Exubera are needed to help diabetics have options on how to manage their type 1 or type 2 diabetes without the need for injections. Adults will now have the option of using the inhalant form of insulin, and research will continue into this much needed form of the drug.