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You can buy Alli again! I covered a previous Alli shortage in 2012 and have been covering the most recent one since 2014.I will keep you updated as I get news on Alli’s availability.
Walgreens.com: Alli Weight Loss Aid Capsules Refill Pack, 120ct – on sale for $69.99
I got word from a reader that Alli is being shipped!!!
I will keep you posted as alli becomes available in more stores!!
10/30/14 UPDATE: With Alli being off the shelves since the spring, I’m seeing a lot of consumer concern on social media and in the comments here. I’m continuing to follow the @myalli account on Twitter, and this is the latest according to a tweet sent on October 10:
As far as I have seen on Twitter, Alli has been very responsive to consumer concerns, replying to questions, giving out their phone number to receive complaints, etc. Remember I am not working for Alli, I don’t get squat for this other than the opportunity to provide a public service. A couple of months ago someone on Twitter contacted me and likened this recall to the recall resulting from the Chicago Tylenol Murders in 1982. As Alli told me on Twitter, “Every tampering situation is different.” This is true. It’s unfair to compare Tylenol’s recall, which ended in a month, to this Alli recall for many reasons:
- The 1982 tampering of Tylenol was contained in the Chicago area, whereas the tampered bottles of Alli were sold online and distributed across the country.
- Alli is a much more expensive product to manufacture than Tylenol.
- The Tylenol murders and recall happened in 1982. A lot has changed since then, in tampering laws and FDA regulations.
The biggest concern here should not be how quickly Alli can return to the shelves, but whether or not GSK is putting a safe product back on the shelves. This involves completely reformulating the drug to have more tamper-proof features, as well as redesigning the packaging. All conspiracy theories I have seen have been unfounded; GSK anticipates no increase in the price of Alli, and in order to correct this tampering situation, the company is already losing out on a lot of consumer dollars. I do not think a drug company wants to deprive consumers of one of its most popular OTC products. So, what can you do while you wait? You can go to the doctor and get a prescription for Xenical. It contains the same active ingredient as Alli, but it is twice the strength. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, it is crucial to consult a physician, so at this point, this is the safest route to go.
6/17/14 UPDATE: I asked @myalli on Twitter if they were currently working on changing packaging to curb additional product tampering. This was their response:
There is still no estimate as to when Alli will be available. Currently, the only way to obtain Orlistat (the generic name for Alli) is to visit your physician and have it prescribed to you. Keep in mind prescription Orlistat has double the strength of Alli. Readers have informed me that, after being prescribed the drug by a physician, they have been able to get Orlistat at discounted prices from Canadian Pharmacies. You WILL have to visit a physician and get a prescription to order this product. Check the comments section for suggestions from other consumers, or add your own. 4/29/14 UPDATE: This is the origin of the recall as reported by The News Journal (Delaware Online): “GSK received calls from consumers in seven states about alli bottles that contained capsules and tablets that were not in fact alli, GSK said. Some bottles inside the outer carton were missing labels and had temper-evident seals that were not authentic, the firm said. The products were purchased in retail stores.” @MyAlli reached out to me via Twitter and said if you think you have a product that is not authentic, please call GSK directly at (800) 671-2554. You can also call the number for any consumer concerns. @MyAlli has reported on twitter that they “don’t have an estimated time period as to when alli will return.” Also, the website http://www.myalli.com has a 503 Service Unavailable Error right now. Hopefully this just means the site is down for maintenance. I have tweeted @MyAlli to ask them why the site is down. I’ll keep you posted as I get more news. 4/3/14 UPDATE: Citing product tampering, there is a voluntary recall of Alli products on the market. During this time, do NOT purchase anything called “Alli,” as counterfeiters have been known to take advantage of Alli’s 2012 ingredient shortage that caused a delay in product manufacturing. If you are purchasing Alli, make sure it is from a reputable retailer and NOT from an auction site or independent seller. Glaxo SmithKline, the manufacturer of Alli in the U.S., issued this press release on 3/27/14:
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily recalling all alli® weight loss products from U.S. and Puerto Rico retailers as the company believes that some packages of the product were tampered with and may contain product that is not authentic alli®. GSK is conducting an investigation and is working with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on this retailer level recall. GSK received inquiries from consumers in seven states about bottles of alli® that contained tablets and capsules that were not alli®. A range of tablets and capsules of various shapes and colors were reported to be found inside bottles. Additionally, some bottles inside the outer carton were missing labels and had tamper-evident seals that were not authentic. These tampered products were purchased in retail stores. “Safety is our first priority and we are asking retailers and pharmacies to remove all alli®from their shelves immediately,” said Colin Mackenzie, President Consumer Healthcare North America. “We have posted a Consumer Alert on our website, www.myalli.com, and issued a News Release with information and photographs to help consumers determine if their alli® is authentic.” alli® is a turquoise blue capsule with a dark blue band imprinted with the text “60 Orlistat”. It is packaged in a labeled bottle that has an inner foil seal imprinted with the words: “Sealed for Your Protection.” Consumers should confirm any alli® in their possession matches this description. Pictures of the product are available on our website: www.myalli.com. Consumers who have product they are unsure or concerned about should not use it. Instead, they should call GSK promptly at 800-671-2554, and a representative will provide further instructions. If they have consumed questionable product, they should also contact their healthcare providers. “We are committed to finding out what happened and to doing everything possible to prevent future issues with alli®,” said Mackenzie. “We regret any inconvenience caused by this retailer recall.”
I will keep you posted if anything changes. Alli reached out to me during the 2012 shortage and I plan to reach out to them in hopes that they’ll share news on the recall with me. 6/19/12 UPDATE: This was posted by Alli on its official Facebook page this morning: “Great news, we are excited to share that alli has shipped to store warehouses! We apologize for any inconvenience this supply issue has caused and you can rest assured that alli product is on its way back to your local retailer’s shelf. Our locator tool will be available soon to help you find alli in stores near you – so we can once again fight fat together.” The drug will not be reformulated and again, there was no recall. I will update this page as soon as Alli is available to purchase online. 6/6 UPDATE: I’ve gotten reports that Alli is planning to make shipments to all retailers by the end of the month. 5/13 UPDATE: Alli has NOT been Recalled. Read below for why you can’t find it. The Food and Drug Administration keeps a list of all product recalls in the U.S., and Alli is not in their database. For information on all FDA recalls, visit the searchable FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts Database. 5/7 UPDATE: Alli is reporting on its Facebook page that they expect the drug to return in late June. Details below. 4/4 UPDATE: Alli contacted me on Twitter and said they expect the product to return to shelves in June 2012. Details below. 3/15: UPDATE with response from Alli, and 4/1 UPDATE with an alert on past and potential counterfeit sales. Details are in bold below. If you use the over-the-counter drug Alli as part of your diet, exercise and weight-loss plan, you may have recognized that the drug has been missing from store shelves and online retailers for the past few weeks. Why has it gone missing from the shelves? Simple – ingredient shortage. Drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline issued the following statement on the Alli web site’s Buy Alli section:
GSK, the manufacturer of alli, is experiencing a supply shortage of the active ingredient used in alli. The alli team is working diligently to resolve the issue and apologize for any inconvenience this supply shortage may cause our consumers. Consumers should continue to adhere to the recommended diet and physical activity routine, which are the cornerstone of any weight loss program, and continue using alli once it is available.
FYI: The “active ingredient” in Alli is Orlistat, which is also the active ingredient in Prescription weight-loss drug Xenical. The Xenical manufacturer Roche issued this statement on its Club New You web site:
Our Florence Manufacturing Plant in the United States manufactures certain ingredients used in the products of Roche, including XENICAL® (orlistat). Just lately the Plant has encountered manufacturing problems, causing deficiencies in the supply of our products, including XENICAL®. This will lead to shortage of supply of this product.
Drugstore.com lists the product as unavailable at this time, after estimating an April 16 availability date.I initially posted the April date upon Drugstore’s estimate.Alli contacted me on Twitter and said the company cannot confirm an April 16 shipping date:
@bellesouth – Thanks for spreading this info! However, we can’t verify Apr. 16 as a shipping date. Pls call with questions: 1-800-671-2554
Alli also told me they’d let me know as soon as the drug was available. No word on the availability of Xenical, but it is safe to assume that these products will both be available as soon as the Orlistat ordeal is taken care of. Meanwhile, diet and exercise still work, and consult with your physician before beginning any weight-loss or exercise program. (Update 4/1: Please be careful before purchasing Alli through auction sites or independent-seller Marketplaces. GSK has had trouble with the sale of counterfeit Alli in the past, so beware of scam artists taking advantage of the shortage.) Update 4/4: Alli contacted me again on Twitter with this message:
Update 5/7: alli is notifying customers on its Facebook page that the drug is expected to return in late June. Here’s what they’re telling customers on Facebook:
unfortunately GSK, the manufacturer of alli, is experiencing a supply shortage of the active ingredient used in alli. The team has been working diligently to resolve the issue, and alli capsules are expected to be back in stores by the end of June. We apologize for the inconvenience this shortage may have caused you. During this time, we recommend you continue to follow your myalli plan to help you stay on track. If you have any further concerns please call us: 1-800-671-2554, M-F 9am – 4:30pm ET.
I have read a lot of ‘conspiracies’ from those who think GSK is doing this on purpose, but other pharmaceutical companies across the world, including those that sell the drug as prescription Xenical, are experiencing the same shortage. Again, diet and exercise still work. This post contains affiliate links.