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Tampering in some U.S. bottles of weight-loss drug Alli: Glaxo

A no entry sign is pictured outside the GlaxoSmithKline building in Hounslow, west London June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
A no entry sign is pictured outside the GlaxoSmithKline building in Hounslow, west London June 18, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

(Reuters) - Some bottles of Alli, GlaxoSmithKline Plc's weight-loss drug sold over the counter in the United States, have been tampered with, and the Food and Drug Administration was investigating, the company said on Wednesday.

Consumers have reported that about 20 bottles bought in stores in seven mostly Southern states contained products other than the drug, GlaxoSmithKline said.

The company said the affected bottles from five lots of the drug could contain tablets and capsules of different shapes and colors. The actual drug is colored turquoise. The bottles could be unlabeled and the lot numbers might not match the numbers on the carton, GlaxoSmithKline said.

Glaxo spokeswoman Deborah Bolding said that so far there have been no reports of serious illness related to the products. The company has advised anyone who did take pills found to come from packages that had been tampered with to contact their doctor.

"We are doing an investigation to determine any further action," she said in a telephone interview.

FDA spokeswoman Tara Goodin confirmed by phone that the regulatory agency was also investigating the tampering.

Alli, which is sold by Glaxo's consumer healthcare business, is approved for use without a prescription for overweight adults, in conjunction with a low-fat diet.

Glaxo said the affected bottles were found in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Texas.

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha and Deena Beasley; Editing by Ted Kerr and Jonathan Oatis)

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