GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has launched a $150 million promotion campaign for its over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss drug, Alli. But not all media coverage is up-beat about what is a lower-dose version of Roche's prescription only drug, Xenical. New York Daily News reporter Julian Kesner reports that Alli consumers "might just find themselves $50 poorer, lacking in vitamins ... and suffering a bout of diarrhea." GSK has produced a video on what it refers to as "treatment effects," which the product pack states may include "more frequent stools that may be hard to control." A consumer coalition, Prescription Access Litigation, has given GSK its 'With Allies Like This, Who Needs Enemas?' award for marketing the drug over-the-counter, where there are less controls to ensure it is used appropriately. In February this year, the Australian drug regulator revoked Roche's approval to market Xenical with direct-to-consumer advertising, as there "was insufficient public health benefit."
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