Glaxo Funding Fat Film To Promote Poop-Causing Drug

In an effort to get more people to try Alli — an over-the-counter weight-loss drug with side effects that include what our friends at Consumer Reports Health delicately refer to as “an urgent need to defecate” — drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has decided to make a movie about the dangers of overeating. And they’ve chosen the Creative Coalition, an advocacy group that includes Alec Baldwin and Susan Sarandon among its members, to make the film.

The New York Times reports that Glaxo will give the group full creative control over the film, which will be a “hard-hitting documentary” about the risks of obesity.

The organization has decided to produce the film with Glaxo, aiming to deliver a finished picture this year. Although theatrical distribution is a goal, distribution plans are incomplete.

“This won’t be a marketing tool at all,” said Robin Bronk, the Creative Coalition’s executive director, adding that working with Glaxo on the project is “a natural progression of our mission to develop educational projects.”

Glaxo insists that the company doesn’t even expect the film to mention Alli, and that the project is all about educating people. We’re sort of hoping that the director — Glaxo claims they’ve lined up an Oscar winner for the job — does choose to focus on Alli. After all, how often do you get an opportunity to make a movie about a drug that causes such side effects as “fatty stools, oily spotting, flatulence with discharge and frequent bowel movements?” The only downside is that it might just be hard to get a PG rating.

Glaxo, Diet Drug Maker, to Pay for Film on Eating [NYTimes.com]
Is the new weight-loss drug worth it? [Consumer Reports Health]