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GSK obesity drug sales meet expectations


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has sold two million “starter kits” of its over-the-counter weight loss pill alli in the five months since it was launched in the USA, it has emerged.

The firm said sales of the pill, which is the only nonprescription weight-loss drug approved by the FDA, are in line with expectations.

Joe Cadle, marketing director for Glaxo Consumer Healthcare, said that while it was too early to tell how many consumers would continue using the drug, feedback on the drug’s website had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

The pharmaceutical giant expects to sell five to six million kits a year in the USA, which will be worth at least $1.5bn (£732m) in annual retail sales.

The starter kits contain a food journal, a healthy-eating guide and a fat and calorie reference guide. A 60-capsule kit costs about $50 (£24) while a 90-capsule pack costs about $60 (£29).

Glaxo is relying on alli becoming a major drug in its portfolio, and the company is spending $150m (£73m) on marketing it this year.

Company spokeswoman Malesia Dunn said: “Clearly given the overweight and obesity numbers in this country, (alli) can have a long-term, sustainable business.”

It is estimated that two-thirds of the US population are overweight or obese.

Copyright © PA Business 2007


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