Orlistat ‚ 'over-the-counter'

January 21st 2009

NOF welcomes the decision to allow Orlistat, the weight-loss drug, to be sold over-the-counter and has been working closely with GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] to ensure that its introduction to the market in May runs as smoothly as possible.  The non-prescription pill is to be known as alli and is half the size of regular Orlistat medication [60mg].  It will be available for people of a BMI of 28kg/m.  Dr David Haslam, NOF chair and clinical director, states:- ‚Research has shown that consumers are spending millions of pounds each year on fad diets, unproven ‚'miracle' ‚ pills and potentially unsafe weight-loss supplements.  Medically proven licensed products give consumers the option of something which can  genuinely support meaningful weight loss.  For many, losing weight can become the catalyst to improvements in their overall health and self-esteem .

It must be emphasised that alli should not be marketed to children even though they may have completed their physical growth.  In training pharmacists prior to the product launch GSK will emphasise their responsibility to try to prevent the drug falling into under-age hands.