Alli, an anti-obesity drug available without a prescription in France since 2009, is no longer marketed since last year, it was learned Friday from the manufacturer, the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
“We had a supply problem of the molecule in January 2012 and have subsequently decided not to re-marketing of Alli because the French context related to the particular case of the Mediator” said a spokesman laboratory, confirming a report published by the independent medical journal prescribe.
The specialty Alli, which contains 60 mg of orlistat, however continue to be marketed in most other European countries and the United States, said the laboratory.
In 2011, the French Medicines Agency (AFSSAPS / MSNA) warned against the “risk of rare but serious liver damage” during treatment with diet and orlistat capsules were placed in its product list drugs under surveillance.
But in March 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the benefit-risk orlistat remained favorable in the treatment of overweight associated with a diet.
According to Prescribe review its effectiveness will remain limited, with a weight loss of about 3.5 kg more than placebo after 12 to 24 months.
Among its side effects are mainly gastrointestinal disorders related to the elimination of fats in the blood, especially early in treatment, but orlistat can also lead to anxiety, and in some exceptional cases of pancreatitis or liver problems . According Prescribing, the molecule also reduce the effectiveness of many drugs.
Another specialty based orlistat, Xenical, produced by Roche laboratory is marketed in France, but it is only available on prescription. This medicine contains 120 mg of orlistat is indicated for the treatment of obesity or overweight associated risk factors.
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