|Marco Foronda |||Feb 03, 2015 10:11 AM EST|
Sanofi and MannKind Corp. announced Tuesday that Afrezza (insulin human) Inhalation Powder, the only inhaled insulin, is now available by prescription at U.S. retail pharmacies nationwide.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Afrezza for use by adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Afrezza uses a whistle-sized inhaler and was developed in competition against Pfizer's rival Exubera.
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Afrezza is a drug-device combination product that consists of a dry formulation of human insulin delivered from a small and portable inhaler. It helps patients achieve blood sugar control. It can be rapidly absorbed and has a short duration of action. It is administered at the start of meal.
Afrezza manages to control high blood sugar as part of a diabetes management plan that may include diet, exercise and other diabetes medications.
Experts warned Afrezza should not be used in patients with chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD and can't be used to treat diabetic ketoacidosis. It's also not recommended for smokers or recent ex-smokers. Both companies advised people not to use Afrezza as an alternative for long-acting insulin.
Sanofi and MannKind entered into a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement to develop and commercialize Afrezza. As per the detailed agreement, Sanofi is responsible for global commercial, regulatory and development activities.
Afrezza costs US$7.54 for a daily dose of 12 units. It's pricier than US$3.14 Apidra, which is the injectable equivalent in Sanofi's drugs stable.
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