Pfizer, Inc. today sent letters to patients who may be taking Exubera, and to medical professionals who may be prescribing the drug to inform them of a possible link between Exubera use and lung cancer.
Exubera is a short-acting insulin that is administered through an inhaler. It helps diabetic adults control high blood sugar and is used for Type I and Type II diabetes.
If you are taking Exubera do not panic. There have only been six newly diagnosed cases of primary lung malignancies (lung cancer) in Exubera-treated patients from the clinical trials and ALL were former smokers. But these results do raise concern because – even though the sample size is small – it suggests the possibility that Exubera users from the clinical trials with a history of smoking are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than those in the control group.
This begs two questions: Were there an equal amount of patients with a history of smoking in both groups? And how many people were included in the trial total?
For more information, see this PDF File from the FDA website, signed by:
Rochelle L. Chaiken, MD
Vice President, Global Medical Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases