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Exubera® (inhaled insulin) - final NICE guidance

Final guidance on the use of Exubera® (inhaled insulin) has been issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

NICE has stated that it should not be recommended for the routine treatment of people with diabetes.

However, it may be used as a treatment option for people who show evidence of poor blood glucose control despite other treatment options and are unable to inject insulin due to:

  • an injection phobia confirmed by a diabetes specialist or mental health professional
  • severe and persistent problems with injection sites.

NICE also states that if there is an improvement in HbA1c judged to be significant enough to reduce the risk of complications after six months, then the patient should be allowed to continue. If this isn’t the case, then Exubera should be discontinued.

“Diabetes UK welcomes the revised final guidance," said Simon O’Neill, Director of Care at Diabetes UK. 

"It is a significant step forward from the initial recommendations following the consultation process.

“We are pleased that needle phobias can now be diagnosed by a member of a diabetes care team rather than just mental health professionals. Also, that all HbA1c targets have been removed.

“However, we still believe the potential benefits in reducing the risk of complications for those who delay moving on to insulin to avoid injections have not been adequately recognised. 

“The decision to prescribe Exubera should lie with the individual patient and his or her diabetes specialist."

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