News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Xenical: Prescription no longer necessary

8 February 2005

Xenical reclassified: Prescription no longer necessary

Approval has been given for the weight-loss drug Xenical (Orlistat) to be sold by pharmacists without a prescription from a doctor. New Zealand is the second country in the world after Australia to approve pharmacist sale of this product.

The Medicines Classification Committee (MCC) has approved the application from the pharmaceutical company to have the drug Orlistat (Xenical) reclassified from a prescription-only medicine to a restricted medicine.

Committee spokesman Dr Stewart Jessamine said: "In considering the application, the committee was satisfied that consumers can self identify whether treatment with Xenical may be appropriate; the medicine is effective with long term use, the side effect profile is acceptable, and obesity can be managed safely by the pharmacist using best-practice guidelines. However, the MCC recommendation to approve was dependant on several conditions.

Firstly, due to concerns about internet sales of medicines, that the pharmacist would only sell Xenical following an initial face-to-face consultation between a pharmacist and the consumer; and secondly, that the company co-operate with pharmacy professionals to develop a patient management guideline.

These requirements were to ensure that the consumer who asks for Xenical will receive appropriate support and advice for the management of obesity, and meets the criteria of having a BMI greater than 30.

"Since the November MCC meeting both of the committee's concerns have been resolved. Roche pharmaceuticals, the sponsors of Xenical, completed the development of pharmacist training and patient management resources in collaboration with the pharmacy profession, and the Pharmacy Council changed its Professional Code of Ethics to resolve the MCC concerns about internet sales."

While the Ministry of Health has accepted the MCC recommendation to re-classify Orlistat, the decision can only come into effect after the period for submission of appeals on the grounds of safety closes on February 25.

If there are no appeals at that time, the change of classification will be gazetted by early March. Pharmacists will only then be able to start selling the product without a prescription.

NB: The Ministry of Health recommends a combination of good nutrition and regular physical activity for all people to maintain a healthy weight. A balanced diet and regular physical activity are just as important for people trying to lose weight, including those using a product such as Xenical.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Gordon Campbell: Best New Music Of 2017

Any ‘best of list’ has to be an exercise in wishful thinking, given the splintering of everyone’s listening habits... But maybe… it could be time for the re-discovery of the lost art of listening to an entire album, all the way through. Just putting that idea out there. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Ten x Ten - One Hundred of Te Papa's Best-Loved Art Works

An idiosyncratic selection by ten art curators, each of whom have chosen ten of their favourite works. Handsomely illustrated, their choices are accompanied by full-page colour prints and brief descriptions of the work, explaining in straightforward and approachable language why it is of historical, cultural, or personal significance. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Portacom City - Reporting On Canterbury Earthquakes

In Portacom City Paul Gorman describes his own deeply personal story of working as a journalist during the quakes, while also speaking more broadly about the challenges that confront reporters at times of crisis. More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Christopher Pugsley’s The Camera in the Crowd - Filming in New Zealand Peace and War 1895-1920

Pugsley brings to life 25 exhilarating years of film making and picture screening in a sumptuously illustrated hardback published by Oratia that tells the story through surviving footage unearthed from the national film archives. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland