Pfizer said yesterday that it would stop selling Exubera, its inhaled insulin, less than two years after introducing the drug. Despite Pfizer’s heavy promotion, Exubera’s sales were minuscule, with prescriptions amounting to less than 1 percent of the insulin market.Rarely does a pharmaceutical company actually feel such nasty repercussions for producing a more expensive product with little value added to the prior product. Needles may hurt, but so does interstitial lung disease. And you just look silly taking a hit of insulin from a bong.
Pfizer will take a charge of $2.8 billion for costs associated with Exubera, making it one of the most expensive failures in the history of the pharmaceutical industry.