Exubera Proves It: Pfizer's Marketing Can Get It Only So Far

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 |  About: Pfizer Inc. (PFE)
by: Derek Lowe

You know, you can run the biggest marketing behemoth the drug industry has ever seen - but if people really aren't interested in buying your product (and if insurance companies really aren't interested in paying for it), that's not enough.

The evidence? Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) Exubera, the inhaled insulin that for years was thought by some to be one of the Next Big Things. Earlier this year, a "relaunch" of the product was announced, but that doesn't seem to have helped much. Pharmalot passes on the news that one of Pfizer's main suppliers is cutting back production.

This comes after the drug ran up only $4 million in sales in the second quarter, relaunch be damned. And I mean that "only" - compared to what Pfizer and its partner Nektar spent on developing Exubera, a few million dollars is nothing at all. You'd think that if we in the industry were as powerful and as evilly resourceful as our worst critics have us, we'd be able to keep things like this from happening - wouldn't we?

PFE 1-yr chart:

PFE 1-yr chart