Exubera: Inhalation Treatment for Older Patients

Amy Tenderich Health Guide
  • Reprinted with permission from Amy Tenderich of www.diabetesmine.com.

    That is the question -- despite the high-tech "Learning Center" with a live demonstrator and fancy large-screen video presentation of a guy happily inhaling his Exubera in a restaurant. Because for any PWD with an actual social life, Exubera inhaled insulin is looking like a bomb. As I told the reps at the ADA conference frankly, the science behind it IS revolutionary, and we PWDs are grateful for strides in alternative insulin delivery, of course! But the Exubera Inhaler Device really is as bad as it looks in pictures. Worse, because the bulky "white" plastic portions are not white at all, but that hospital-grade biege that reminds you of walkers and bedpans. An aesthetic nightmare, in the age of cool gadgetry.
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    Talking it over with the reps, I am led to understand that the substantial size -- especially the handful o' activation lever -- is actually a plus for the older Type 2 patients (who often resist going on insuin in injectable form, which IS certainly a plus). This may be very true, as I can just picture my grandma's reaction to my tiny digitalized glucose meter, with its minute buttons and disconcerting beeps.

    But grandmas go out to dinner, too. The funny thing was that the happy Exubera user in Pfizer's video must live in a city as tolerant or as jaded as San Francisco or New York, because not one patron even glanced over as he cocked and sucked on his medicinal bong.
Published On: June 16, 2006