Today's Medical News: Exubera and Natrecor

Inhaled Insulin Shown to be Effective but How About Its Long Term Safety?

According to Pfizer's studies with 200-300 patients, inhaled insulin (Exubera) seems just as effective as the injected one and, of course, patients like the inhaled version much better. FDA is likely to demand long-term studies, proving that there is no adverse lung effects after long-term administration.

Pfizer is not alone on the inhaled insulin turf, other drug companies (Eli Lilly among them) are developing their own inhaled insulins. Exubera seems to be poised for exuberant growth - sales of inhaled insulin are predicted to creach close to $2 billion by 2011. The maker of the inhaled device is named Nektar, which in the Greek mythology was the food of the gods (nectar), how is this for an ambitious name?

Reference:
Inhaled Insulin Is Effective, Pfizer Reports - NY Times

Related:
Pfizer Warns of Inhaled Insulin Lung Cancer Risk. NYT, 04/2008.


Natrecor not to be used for outpatient treatment of CHF

This was the recommendation of the panel led by Eugene Braunwald, the chief editor of Harrison's.

References:
Panel Urges Limits on Use of a Heart Drug. NY Times.
Nesiritide (Natrecor) for Acute Decompensated Heart Failure. AFP, Vol. 73/No. 4 (February 15, 2006).


More than one million Americans are living with HIV according to CDC

"Reaching the 1 million mark is "a sign of both victory and failure" (CNN).

Victory because the new anti-HIV medications have allowed patients to live longer. Failure because since the 1990s the rate of estimated new HIV infections has been 40,000 per year despite the CDC efforts to cut it in half. The government agency was not able to "break the back" of the AIDS epidemic.

As reported previously, the African American population is hit the hardest by the AIDS, the rates of AIDS cases are 58 per 100,000 African Americans, 10 per 100,000 Hispanics, 6 per 100,000 Caucasians. In total, African Americans account for 47 percent of HIV cases.

Reference:
CDC: 1 million living with HIV in U.S. - CNN
Blacks hardest hit by HIV in U.S. - report - Reuters

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