Alli weight loss drug on the U.S. market soon

The new weight loss drug Alli is about to hit the U.S. market.

Alli which is produced by GlaxoSmithKline will be available to consumers in America next week following a 150 million dollar advertising campaign to promote the non-prescription drug.

Alli will be the only non-prescription drug marketed as a weight loss remedy that has the approval of the Food and Drug Administration.

The drug works by reducing the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body; the undigested fat is eliminated in bowel movements, which can cause side effects such as gas and oily discharge.

Alli is a half-dose version of the Roche prescription drug Xenical which also works by reducing the amount of fat the body absorbs from food.

It will cost between $55 and $60 for a month's supply, just over 60 cents per tablet, based on a regimen of three pills a day.

Alli is good news for GSK who are still recovering from the safety scare over it's diabetes drug Avandia.

GSK hopes the product will be available in Europe, under a different name, in 2008 and are also planning to submit Alli for regulatory approval in Canada, Latin America, China, Australia and New Zealand before the end of 2007.

Glaxo is stressing in their advertisements that Alli is no "magic bullet" and requires commitment to a low-fat diet.

It will compete with multiple OTC supplements that claim weight-loss benefits but have not been cleared by the FDA.



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