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Generic Inhaled Insulin

There is no generic inhaled insulin currently available because it is protected by a patent. The patent expires in 2010, at which time a generic version could be manufactured. However, other circumstances could extend that date past 2010, including patents for specific uses of the medication or lawsuits. Be aware that any place claiming to sell "generic inhaled insulin" is selling a medication that is fake, substandard, and potentially dangerous.

Generic Inhaled Insulin: An Overview

Inhaled insulin (Exubera®) is a prescription medication that has been approved to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Inhaled insulin was manufactured by Pfizer and is currently under the protection of a patent that prevents any generic inhaled insulin from being manufactured in the United States. In October 2007 however, Pfizer announced it will stop making inhaled insulin. This decision was voluntary and was not based on any safety concern; Pfizer states that their inhaled insulin product (Exubera) has not met its expectations in terms of sales. Starting in October 2007, it will be available for an additional three months, which will give people enough time to change from inhaled insulin to another type of insulin or other diabetes medication.

When Will Generic Inhaled Insulin Be Available?

The earliest date that a generic version of inhaled insulin could become available is in 2010. However, other circumstances could extend the exclusivity period beyond this time, such as other patents for specific inhaled insulin uses or lawsuits. Once the patent expires, several companies will likely begin manufacturing a generic inhaled insulin drug.

Is Inhaled Insulin a Generic Exubera?

No -- inhaled insulin is the active ingredient in Exubera, but it is not a generic version of it. What can be confusing is that, oftentimes, the active ingredient of a drug is referred to as the "generic name." The generic name is different from a generic version of a medicine. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off-patent and another company besides the original manufacturer must make the product.
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Inhaled Insulin (Exubera)

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