WASHINGTON A Food and Drug Administration panel of doctors and scientists voted today to recommend that the regulatory agency approve over-the-counter sales of a weight-loss pill now sold only with a prescription.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare still needs final FDA approval before it can sell the nonprescription version of orlistat, a drug already marketed in prescription form as Xenical, to overweight adults as use as a weight-loss aid.
The FDA approved the prescription version of the fat-blocking pill made by Roche in 1999.
A joint FDA advisory committee voted 11-2 to recommend approval late Monday following a daylong hearing. The agency usually follows the recommendations of its outside panels of experts.
Currently, the FDA has not approved any nonprescription weight-loss drugs for sale.
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