Tuesday, January 24, 2006

FDA Panel Recommends OTC Weight-Loss Pill

and I've been trying to lose weight by eating less...How old-fashioned...

WASHINGTON - Federal health advisers voted Monday to recommend over-the-counter sales of a weight-loss pill now sold only with a prescription.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare still needs final Food and Drug Administration approval before it can sell a nonprescription version of orlistat, a diet pill already marketed in prescription form as Xenical. The FDA approved the prescription version of the fat-blocking pill made by Roche in 1999.

A joint FDA advisory committee voted 11-3 to recommend approval late Monday following a daylong hearing. The agency usually follows the recommendations of its outside panels of experts, but its final decision could take months. If approved, orlistat would be the first weight-loss drug sanctioned for over-the-counter sales. Roche will continue selling Xenical regardless.

"We are excited about the potential opportunity to provide consumers with an FDA-approved over-the-counter option that promotes gradual yet meaningful weight loss," said George Quesnelle, president of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare North America.

link to full AP article

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