Disease Proof

Alli the Brunt of Jokes

The new weight-loss drug Alli comes with a nasty side effect and the comedians are having fun with it. Karl Stark of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Alli (pronounced al-EYE) went on sale for the first time about a week ago — a stronger prescription form, Xenical, has been available since 1999 — and its promotional material alone makes for strong medicine: The drug, which helps people lose small amounts of weight, can cause oily discharges, uncontrolled bowel movements, and gas if you eat too much fat.


Its marketing effort makes an impression by telling users to wear dark pants and carry extra clothes in case they soil themselves.

"Well, that sounds attractive, doesn't it?" Jay Leno cracked Monday on "The Tonight Show." "You lost a couple of pounds, and you're on a date with that special girl. 'Excuse me while I change my pants.' "

NBC's Conan O'Brien also spoke up to pooh-pooh Alli, suggesting that "the drug comes in three forms: pills, capsules and chimichangas."

Even the serious Boston-based Prescription Access Litigation Project, which often sues drug companies, got gleeful. It gave the drug's maker, GlaxoSmithKline its "With Allies Like This, Who Needs Enemas?" Award for Irresponsibly Selling a Formerly Prescription-Only Weight Loss Drug Over-the-Counter.
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