MannKind: Marketing glitches, delays explain slow Afrezza uptake
- According to MannKind, prescriptions for Afrezza—the inhaled insulin product—been stifled by safety concerns and reimbursement challenges.
- MannKind received FDA approval for Afrezza last year, and entered into a marketing partnership with Sanofi.
- First quarter sales of Afrezza were just $1 million, as reported by Sanofi, and were way below expectations.
This has been a challenging process for MannKind all along. First, developing and gaining approval for an inhaled insulin, something that other companies such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly tried to do before finally giving up, was no easy feat. So when Afrezza was approved by the FDA in June 2014, it was a breakthrough.
But since then, uptake has been slow due to the fact that patients must take a spirometry test before starting on the drug, and also the fact that pharma companies don't do DTC advertising in the first six months.
Despite these factors, Matthew Pfeffer, CEO of MannKind, is confident that product uptake will eventually accelerate.
In fact, it is still too early to tell whether Afrezza will become a force in the diabetes treatment marketplace.
- in-Pharma Techologist Mannkind: Afrezza's slow start due to delays not demand for inhalable insulin