Monday, May 01, 2006

Crazy Advertising

This morning, my friend Isabelle sent me that latest on Xenical being approved for over the counter. Check this out:

GlaxoSmithKline has received conditional approval from the FDA to sell the weight-loss drug Xenical over-the-counter. It would be sold under the brand name Alli.

The pill blocks fat from being absorbed by the body. If it wins final approval, it will be the only FDA-approved weight-loss drug available without a prescription.

Sounds all well and good, huh? But wait, there's more!

However, the drug can cause excess gas and oily discharge, and can lead to hepatitis, gallstones and kidney stones. Recent studies have also linked the drug to precancerous colon lesions and a heightened risk of breast cancer, prompting consumer groups such as Public Citizen to petition the FDA to reject GlaxoSmithKline's request for over-the-counter sales and pull Xenical from the U.S. market.

How does something like this even get on to the legalization radar of the FDA? These guys must have some seriously talented lobbyists, is all that comes to mind.

So now you have a choice. Eat better, exercise, lose weight and feel better, or take a pill, lose weight, and get sick and go to the hospital. Who would take this stuff?

I guess a lot of people.

I'm confused, almost daily, by all of the drug company ads for stuff that's supposed to fix and ailment (many brought on by unhealthy living habits) that end with a long running list of possible side effects. And these aren't along the lines of "may cause drowsiness" but often put you at risk for something far more dangerous than what you are suffering from in the first place. I mean, sheesh, looking pudgy at the beach may be bad for my self image but it sure beats a case of hepatitis, which people die from every year.

Are we ever going to wake up?

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Steve, have you ever seen the Frontline report about the FDA approval process? Unbelievable. If you haven't, you can google frontline and go to the PBS website and watch the whole report. Beware before swallowing, know what I mean?

They have a very disturbing part regarding Fen-Phen. Why sign a bargain with the devil for a short-cut? Best thing in my life was taking the long way... each and every long run, every set in the gym...