Recommendation by a food and drug administration advisory panel came despite questions about the use of the drug, called Exubera, in people who have lung disease or were exposed to secondhand smoke.
Some advisers also had concerns that patients might not use the device properly.
However, drug company representatives suggest the inhaler was no more complicated than the injections many diabetics now must rely on.
Government official say Exubera cannot be used by smokers.
The companies have proposed studies on the long-term effects of the drug until two thousand and nineteen.