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Published: Monday, 1/23/2006

FDA panel OKs nonprescription sale of fat-blocking pill


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.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.

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