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Now Pfizer, the drug's manufacturer, has taken a deep breath, closed down the Indiana plant where Exubera was made, said goodbye to $2.8 billion dollars, and placed about 700 workers on paid leave.
The company is returning its Exubera rights to Nektar, its partner in the Exubera debacle, and will work with doctors over the next three months to switch Exubera patients to other diabetes treatments.
As far as another inhalable insulin? Don't hold your breath. Way back in June of 1998, Diabetes Health editor-in-chief Scott King told the Wall Street Journal, "I don't think anyone understands the lungs enough to use them as another pathway to take medicine, except maybe with a lung condition like asthma. I'd be very cautious and see how Phase II and Phase III come out." Apparently he was right.
Source: Forbes; Reuters, October 2007