The European Union yesterday announced their decision to allow pharmacists to sell the anti-obesity drug orlistat over-the-counter without a prescription.
Although the drug will be readily available for around £1 ($1.50) each, British authorities say that it will still be important for potential users to consult their doctors before embarking on a regime of taking orlistat.
Authorities are concerned that overweight people may consider this to be a “diet” drug. In fact, it is aimed solely at adults who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of at least 28.
This means that the drug is intended to deal with people who are medically obese and not people who want to lose a few pounds. According to The Royal College of GPs, the drug will only be effective if combined with a clear change in lifestyle that includes a large scale reduction of the intake of foods that are high in fat.
According to orlistat manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline, their studies reveal that patients who reduce their calorie intake and lower the amount of fat in their diets will of course lose weight. But the added use of orlistat to a diet regime will give an additional 50% more weight loss than the use of diet alone.