Orlistat is the best-selling weight loss medication of all time.
It has a strong safety profile and is approved by the US Food & Drug Administration, but some people on the medication have experienced what can only be described in polite society as anti-social bowel-related side effects from the drug.
M Pharma’s C-103 is a combination of orlistat, simethicone (which reduces bloating) and activated charcoal, and circumvents the side-effects.
Working with its contracted partners, M will develop the foundation required to market 60 milligram (mg) OTC C-103 tablets at the same time as developing the prescription version.
The pharmaceutical company said this dual-stream approach would lower development costs.
The OTC version will be for those who have decided off their own bat, rather than on the advice of a doctor, to lose some weight.
The current plan is to have the OTC C-103 formulation available at pharmacies nationwide in the OTC format and to support it by mass marketing through multimedia channels, including both cable television and digital advertising.
"This long-term strategy will allow the company to address the larger weight loss market for those of the population that may not be technically obese but want a safe alternative to losing weight," said Gary Thompson, president and chief executive officer of M Pharmaceutical USA.
"Our strategy recognizes that we require a new branding approach for an initial national campaign, followed by the extended campaign into the global marketplace," he added.
Orlistat is approved for weight management by the US Food and Drug Administration and sold by Roche as Xenical in prescription form and by GlaxoSmithKline as alli in the OTC format.