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[IP] Large Drug Companies Set Sights On Diabetes Care



Large Drug Companies Set Sights On Diabetes Care

POSTED: 11:15 am EDT July 5, 2006
UPDATED: 11:32 am EDT July 5, 2006

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 INDIANAPOLIS -- Drug companies are racing to capture the ballooning diabetes
market as health advocates worry the disease will become a public health threat.

 Pfizer plans to debut Exubra, its new inhaled insulin treatment, later this
month.

 Merck, Novartis AG and Eli Lilly are awaiting Food and Drug Administration
approval for new diabetes products that could generate hundreds of millions of
dollars in sales.

 Eli Lilly's president, John Lechleiter, said the market is becoming more
competitive. The Indianapolis-based company began offering Byetta -- an
injectable diabetes treatment -- last year. The company also is awaiting FDA
approval for Arxxant, which treats diabetes-related blindness.
 

 More than 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, and experts
estimate that one in three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes.

 U.S. spending on diabetes and complications reached $132 billion in 2002. The
U.S. total was nearly half of all spending on the disease worldwide, which
reached $286 billion during the same year.

 Some health care analysts predict the $10 billion diabetes market could
eventually rival the $20 billion cholesterol market.
 Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
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