April 21, 2006
UK cost group rules against Exubera
Pfizer’s inhaled insulin, Exubera, should not be prescribed by Britain’s state health service, the country’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended. NICE, the country’s cost-effectiveness watchdog, said Exubera did not offer sufficient benefits over conventional insulin injections to be worth its estimated cost of $1,931 (1,102 pounds) a year. Pfizer called the decision “perverse and short-sighted” in a published report, stating it would deprive patients of the first alternative to insulin injections since the 1920s. The preliminary decision from NICE, which could be revised following consultation, is just among several controversial rulings from the organization, which has angered drug makers and patient groups in the past by limiting access to Alzheimer’s drugs on the state health service.