Doctors Welcome UAE Approval of “Revolutionary” Insulin Inhalation Treatment
Doctors battling diabetes across the Middle East have welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the UAE to approve the registration of an insulin inhalation treatment seen as a revolution in diabetes medication.
Diabetics have traditionally had to inject themselves with insulin on a daily basis to manage their illness.
Current studies show that a fear of, or reluctance to use needles makes sufferers delay treatment of diabetes for an average of four years, leading to devastating and costly complications such as heart disease, kidney failure, or even blindness.
Now, with the arrival of Exubera, manufactured by Pfizer, diabetics in the UAE will be able to use the insulin inhalation dry powder and avoid the inconvenience of regular and often painful daily injections.
Pfizer has also welcomed the timely approval of the new medication, which has been hailed as one of the biggest steps forward since the discovery of insulin in 1922 by doctors who treat diabetes.
“Many diabetics have to make the procedure of self-administering insulin by injection a major part of their daily routine, out of necessity rather than convenience or choice. The approval of an insulin inhaler which can be administered in a matter of seconds will undoubtedly impact the lives of diabetics,” said Dr. Ahmed Al Hakim, external affairs and policy director for Pfizer Middle East.
The registration of Exubera was approved in January 2007 after it was examined by the Ministry’s Higher Drugs Registration Committee.
The approval is a major development in the fight against diabetes in the UAE, where 19.5 per cent of the population aged between 20 and 70 are diabetic. Studies predict the number of diabetes cases in the UAE will increase to approximately 22 per cent by the year 2025.
Exubera is expected to be available for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes among adults later this year. The inhalation powder was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use at the beginning of 2006.
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