A Watchdog Group Wants 'Alli' Banned.

(Associated Press) Public Citizen filed a petition with the FDA Thursday calling on the agency to remove GlaxoSmithKline's Alli and Roche's Xenical from the market. Alli is sold over-the-counter while Xenical, a higher dose of the drug, is only available with a doctor's prescription. Sales of both versions have been declining for years.

Public Citizen says it identified 47 cases of acute pancreatitis and 73 kidney stones among patients taking the drugs. The reports were culled from the FDA's public database of negative drug reactions.

Known chemically as orlistat, the drug works by blocking the absorption of about one-quarter of any fat consumed. It is the only prescription weight loss drug available for long-term use, though appetite-suppressing drugs like phentermine are available for short-term use.

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