Pfizer may consider to unveil Exubera in Indian mkt
Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, is likely to consider an early launch of its breakthrough insulin product Exubera in the Indian market. Exubera, which is inhaled short acting insulin, has just received approvals from the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission. Pfizer has started the initial groundwork for the product in India. The company also plans to conduct clinical trials for Exubera in India and has recently received the government's nod to carry out trials in the country. The launch of Exubera in India may take about two years. The product is slated for a US launch by the middle of this year. So far, most of the company's products that were launched in the Indian market have been several years after the global launch. Viagra, for instance, was launched in India more than seven years after its US launch. The medical fraternity in the country is of the opinion that any company with products for diabetes will target India, as it is a large market. India already has 35m diabetics and soon, every third diabetic will be an Indian. No company can afford to ignore such a big market.
Inhaled insulin is the first new way of delivering insulin since the discovery of the hormone in the 1920s. Pfizer jointly developed the drug and dispenser with Sanofi-Aventis, and Nektar Therapeutics. For many insulin dependant diabetics, the development is welcome news. Currently the only way to administer insulin is using a sub-cutaneous injection. Even though insulin is considered the treatment of choice for diabetes, patients do not prefer insulin because of the need for daily repeat injections. Meanwhile, some diabetics in India are already on an inhaled insulin regimen as part of a trial being conducted by American drug major Eli Lilly. However, Eli Lilly is unlikely to launch its inhaled insulin product before Pfizer does.