April 20, 2009 / 11:59 AM / in 10 years

Glaxo launches OTC weight-loss drug alli in Europe

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) said on Monday it had launched its non-prescription weight-loss drug alli in pharmacies across Europe, boosting its line-up of consumer healthcare products.

The move had been expected after Glaxo, the world’s second-biggest drugmaker, won final approval for the over-the-counter (OTC) medicine from European authorities in January.

Glaxo sees such OTC medicines as a growth opportunity at a time when sales of many prescription products are slowing.

Alli, a half-dose version of Roche’s ROG.VX prescription drug Xenical, has been available without prescription in the United States since 2007. It works by reducing the amount of fat the body absorbs from food. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)

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