One of the first people in the country to use the controversial new diet pill has revealed how he lost two stones in a month.
Tony Mullins, of Staffordshire, was part of a special programme to take the new fat-busting Alli drug, which becomes the first non-prescription pill to go on sale over the counter from today.
The operations support manager for Lloydspharmacy, who lives in Biddulph, jumped at the chance to try out the pills at a hefty 28 stone - and is already down to 26st five weeks later.
Diet aid Alli is being sold without a prescription and is believed to help people to boost weight loss by up to 50 per cent as it prevents the absorption of fat and allows excess fat from food consumed to pass naturally through the body.
But it is only suitable for the overweight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 28 or more.
“I lost a stone in the first week alone and needed to buy a belt to stop my trousers falling down,” Mr Mullins said.
“Over weeks two to four, the weight loss has been much more gradual.
“I’ve tried all sorts of other diets in the past but never stayed the course.
“What this pill does is keep me on the straight and narrow. I know that if I eat too much fat the end result may not be very nice and that motivates me to stick to the rules.
“It also provides you with that extra incentive to lose weight by ‘rewarding’ me with an extra 1lb of weight loss for every 2lbs I lose through my diet.”
Mr Mullis added: “Before I started the treatment I read up on Alli so I knew exactly how it worked. I also had a consultation with a pharmacist who talked me through the guidelines and recommended I eat no more than 19 grams of fat per meal and no more than 1,800 calories per day. I’ve managed to stick to that and haven’t had any problems at all. My medium-term target weight is 18st.”
Even though the weight-loss treatment is going on sale nationwide, pharmacists have been warned they can only be sold after a proper consultation.
James Hallatt, general manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare UK, said: “Obesity and overweight are a major concern of our society and people need help. Alli offers a clinically-proven way to help people lose weight but it is not a magic bullet.
“Users must be committed to weight loss. Alli launched in the United States in June 2007 and has been well received by millions of people, we are very excited about the opportunity to help overweight people in the UK achieve their weight-loss goals.”
Mr Hallatt added that patients taking it needed to ensure they had a balanced diet while taking the drug.
Andy Murdock, governance director of Lloydspharmacy, voiced concerns that some people may obtain the treatment even though it is not clinically appropriate for them to take it. “It’s important that all sectors of the pharmacy profession uphold the very highest clinical standards when providing this treatment,” he said.