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robert price

Mr. Smith

Your 21 October 1977 posting raises some good options. Would you kindly communicate with me via e-mail. I have read the "Deceitful Turkey."

Pharma Giles

Excellent article. How many times can companies make such huge mistakes in todays climate. The answer should be never but suprisingly they get away with massive errors. I hope the industry sees this as a wake up call.



Mr. Farrell, you are right, I do not have diabetes. However, my wife has been a type 1 diabetic for over 33 years, takes insulin 4 times a day and also has to monitor her blood glucose fairly often. So, I am living with diabetes and worry about extreme lows all the time. This is one reason that I have taken such interest in Exubera and, indeed, any diabetes advance. Your points are very ligitimate and although I did not say it in so many words, a key failing by Pfizer and Nektar was not having talked to patients and/or physicians about their needs and daily hassles. I still believe that doing a finger prick to get a drop of blood causes a lot more anxiety than doing the insulin injection. So, this is why I would still like to see a non-invasive glucose monitor AND a real cure for the disease itself.

Bernard Farrell

Mr. Lazlo

All good points, though I suspect (based on how you write) that you don't actually have diabetes. There are people with diabetes, especially Type 2, for whom injections are really difficult. An alternative delivery mechanism for insulin would be ideal for this population.

Problems with Exubera included a very complex dosing mechanism, an overly large and poorly designed delivery mechanism, and not enough information on long term pulmonary issues.

I do hope that before another drug maker tries a novel delivery mechanism targetted at the diabetes marketplace they first actually consider TALKING with people who have diabetes. There are a large number of active diabetes bloggers (including me) and I think many of us would be happy to try and improve the state of diabetes management if we were asked.

John L. Smith

While this is a classic blunder, the suggestion that the money would have been better spent developing a noninvasive blood glucose monitor is not a good one. Almost the same amount of money has been spent in that pursuit (see the book published on the web at http://www.mendosa.com/noninvasive_glucose.pdf), and the big companies who have been involved in the pursuit to date have made even worse technology choices.
Basic research into the fundamental issues with diabetes and new treatment modalities might have been the best use for the $2.8B.

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