American Government has, for the first time, approved an over-the-counter diet pill that will be available to anyone without a prescription.
The drug, called Alli, is intended for people over 18 and represents a reduced-strength version of the prescription diet drug Xenical. Alli is said that it needs to be used along with proper dieting and regular exercise or it will have no effect on weight whatsoever.
Trials showed that for every 5 pounds people lost through diet and exercise, those using Alli lost additional 2 to 3 pounds. It is supposed to be taken with meals and block the absorption of about one-quarter of any fat consumed. This means that around 150-200 calories can be passed out through stool that way. The drug however has gastrointestinal side effects that appeared in over 50% of people who had used it.
Alli is expected to appear in stores by summer. It will be sold by GlaxoSmithKline PLC but the final price is still not known. It is expected to be around $1- to $2-a-day.

Not everyone can take the pills. People undergoing diabetes and thyroid treatments or taking blood thinning medicines need to consult their doctors about possible drug interactions.
Not everyone supports the idea of the Ally. Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group called the approval "the height of recklessness."
He called Ally’s benefits marginal with lots of potential disadvantages. Xenical use has been linked to with precancerous lesions of the colon while Ally itself caused bothersome side effects, was associated with frequent coexistence of other diseases and significant inhibition of absorption of fat soluble vitamins.