People Are Stealing Alli, The OTC Weight Loss Drug

Walmart blog “Behind the Counter” has some interesting anecdotal evidence to present to the internet: People are stealing the new weight-loss drug, Alli, like crazy. BTC wants his Walmart to lock up the drug, but they refuse…claiming that they’ll lose sales if people can only buy it during pharmacy hours.

BTC says that the starter packs cost $68 at Walmart and, “Every day we find about 4 of them ripped open and the pills stolen.”

That’s too bad, because we’re sure the box that the thieves left behind contains a warning about how Alli makes you crap your pants. We hope the Alli thieves never make it on to COPS. We just don’t want to see that. Uh, not that we watch COPS or anything.

Hot Theft Item Update [Behind The Counter]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Sudonum says:

    “BTC wants his Walmart…..”

    HER Walmart…..BTC is a woman

    A quote from a previous post talking about a guy who comes in to cash a handwritten payroll check…
    “Don’t whine, pout, snarl and ask me “Well what am I supposed to do?” That whole entitlement thing is really unattractive – especially on bratty twentysomethings. PS: You’re really not cute enough for me to care about.”

    Unless BTC is gay, which I also doubt, based on previous posts.

  2. DeeJayQueue says:

    I can’t figure out how to pronounce this…

    is it “float like a butterfly, sting like Alli”
    or “Alli McBeal”
    or even “If obesity is your enemy, then explosive diarrhea can be your Alli”

  3. cnc1019 says:

    He is gay. Not that it matters, but it has been discussed multiple times on here. I never worked customer service at wal-mart (i was just a lowly cashier) but I can relate to some of his stories. My one advice for those of you who go to walmart, don’t ask a cashier where things are, thry really don’t know.

  4. dbeahn says:

    @Sudonum: No, BTC is a GAY MAN. Try reading ALL the way back to the beggining of the blog before you start bitching at someone else for getting it RIGHT when you have it WRONG…

  5. Mojosan says:

    Alli works well and does not give you the nasty side effects if you limit your fat intake to about 15 grams or less per meal.

  6. 3ZKL says:

    if you are ever arrested & wind up on cops, be sure to crap your pants! the police will take you to a taco bell parking lot to hose you down for the entire world to see. it will be great!

  7. bnet41 says:

    I can understand Wal-Marts take on this. It’s so much of a pain to get pseudoephedrine now with it behind the counter, and I don’t even count the ID checks in that. Just the fact that the Pharmacy’s at Wal-Marts and Target have such limited hours, it really makes it hard to get to them sometimes.

    Now add in the embarrassment factor with a product like this, and I can understand why they’d rather take the loss as the sales drop would be much bigger.

  8. dbeahn says:

    @bnet41: Yeah, I don’t buy my allergy meds at Wal-Mart anymore because it’s a pain in the ass. Their pharmacy is always understaffed and it’s always a long wait. Far easier to stop at Walgreens or CVS, and at a few cents more for their store brand compared to WalMart, it’s not worth the time and aggravation to try and save 10 cents.

  9. bambino says:

    @Sudonum: Good going. BTC is a man, baby.

  10. joopiter says:

    @DeeJayQueue: I think it’s supposed to be pronounced like your second example. In their logo, they’ve got a little line over the “i” indicating the long vowel sound.

  11. joopiter says:

    @joopiter: Whoops, third example. As in, alli = friend.

  12. @bnet41: Is it embarrassing to buy Alli? I would have thought with all the diet pills they’re pushing nowadays that there wouldn’t be a stigma anymore.

  13. TheDude06 says:

    I understand that site-layout is a matter of opinion, but forcing clickthroughs to get to the story is pretty annoying.

    Insult to injury when there are two links included, neither of them to the article being referenced.

  14. dvddesign says:


    clear something up for me

    Why would I take Alli? If it’s goal is to make me poop out the fat I’m going to eat, why would I need to cut back on my fat intake when I’m taking the pill? If I just cut back on my fat intake, it seems to me that I would sidestep the only benefit this pill provides.

    Wouldn’t it be wiser just to adopt a less fat based diet and not have to take these potentially messy and embarassing medications?

    I’m of the mind to wonder which is really more embarassing. Uncontrolled bowel movements of grease you voluntarily gorged on or being a fat oaf.

    I say, skip the pill and just eat healthier. Your bowel movements don’t need to get involved that way.

  15. Morgan says:

    @dvddesign: Diet pills are for people with no self control. They can’t stop themselves from eating fatty foods, or just too much food, so they take a pill to keep themselves from gaining weight. Clearly controlling your diet or getting exercise is a better option, but some people don’t have the willpower to stick with those things.

  16. B says:

    @dvddesign: Because taking Alli gives you a direct Pavlovian negative response to eating fatty foods.

  17. TWinter says:

    @dvddesign: I think the “point” of taking Alli is the negative reenforcement. If you screw up and gobble down a super value meal or half a pizza, you WILL suffer the nasty, messy consequences before the day is out.

    I wouldn’t do it myself, but I can see that it would work for some people who are otherwise not able to deny themselves in the short term for long term gains.

  18. dbeahn says:

    @dvddesign: That would make too much sense, and furthermore, it’s un-American! Don’t tell me I should do something GOOD for me that requires effort! Just give me a pill that does it for me!

  19. Sudonum says:

    @dbeahn: I have read all the way back to the beginning. Spent a rainy Sunday afternoon several months ago after I first discovered the blog. I did not see anything pointing to the fact that he/she is gay.

  20. Papercutninja says:

    They should put them in those blister packs that electronics come in. You know, the ones that are impossible to open without a plasma torch or hand grenade. That would solve the problem.

  21. Youthier says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Yeah, I would be more embarrassed to be shopping at Walmart.

    Wow, the gender of BTC is apparently a very personal topic for some. Let’s stick to religion and politics, okay?

  22. acambras says:


    Yeah, one would burn so many calories trying to wrestle the package open that the need for Alli would be obviated. :-)

  23. mac-phisto says:

    why don’t they just put it behind the counter with the nicotine?

    i too have been wondering if BTC is a man or a woman, but to me, that’s
    part of the fun of the blog. the ambiguity makes it easy to identify
    with (if you’ve ever worked in retail).

  24. timmus says:

    In reference to the comments a page or two above, FAT IN does not equal FAT OUT. Calories in are what is the problem, and with most processed foods it’s the carbohydrates that do you in, not the fat.

  25. KitN says:

    Fat people will resort to stealing to get skinny? Wow… I think we’ve hit an all time low here…

    I don’t think we’ll see that last of Alli-related crime. Next the fat people will start stealing adult diapers like Depends to go with their explosive diarrhea pills, LOL!

  26. @Sudonum: Wasn’t there a post about Wal-mart and gay employees? I think he indicated in it that he was gay but it is possible I’m thinking of a different blog.

    @dvddesign: You would take Alli because the study showed that people lose more weight with the pill than without it.

    @Morgan: Sorry, but Alli is not a “magic” pill that’s going to make people lose or maintain their weight without lifestyle changes. It isn’t for people with no self control.

  27. Mojosan says:


    That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. Lower your fat intake and then the pill eliminates about 25% of that reduced fat as well.

    It does work. I used it when it was a perscription drug a couple years ago and started back again 2 weeks ago.

    If you think you’re going to take the pill, eat Big Macs and lose weight your mistaken. But if you make lower fat choices and take the pill, you lose more than just making lower fat choices alone.

  28. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    @Mojosan: If you limit your fat to 15 grams a meal, then you don’t need Alli in the first place.

  29. bearymore says:

    Not to excuse the thieves, but perhaps they are just reacting to those greater thieves — the pharmaceutical companies. A quick perusal of a reputable Canadian pharmacy’s web site shows the same starter pack that sells at Walmart for $68 priced at $49. One presumes that Glaxo-Smith-Kline is making a nice profit even at $49. At $68 it is obscene.

  30. jaykaydee says:

    If you’re gonna steal something, at least get something cool and not some drug that will blow your colon out in public. Oh, and Alli apparently is linked to cancer. Nice of the FDA to spare us that little tidbit. It’s in the comments of this post: []

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    Beary –

    The Big Lie concerning Wal-Mart is “everyday low prices”. Their model is based on having a loss-leader per category to tempt the rubes into thinking Wal-Mart’s got their back. But – look over there – shiny, newer, slightly better model of the loss-leader! Then the customer wanders a row over, buys the other model that’s NOT a great deal. And Wal-Mart got you to pay that phat margin while still thinking, “I got a SWEET deal – Wal-Mart’s my BFF!”

    Three-word summary: bait and switch.

  32. WV.Hillbilly says:

    Alli side effects in layman’s terms:

  33. mac-phisto says:

    to be honest, i don’t think $68 is all that expensive. 1 month of nutrisystem meals is ~$300. some of those other diets are upwards of a grand.

  34. lestat730 says:

    Big surprise. Diet pills have always been one of the most stolen items in stores. The fact is that they are small and easily concealable, worth as much as $15+ per bottle (this one is $68!), and there will always be a huge consumer demand. So you’ll always have tons of people stealing a bunch of bottles and then selling them on eBay or committing return fraud. Certain things just HAVE to be locked up. When I worked Staples years ago every item over $50 was under lock and key.

  35. lincolnparadox says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: Thank you. That was so funny, I crapped myself.

    If Alli is the OTC version, what is prescription strength Orlistat like? Is there just a river of Texas tea coming out of those patients?

    Personally, I’d rather have Methylphenidate to change my behavior, rather than just let the food pass right through. Orlistat is bad, but Precose (which blocks the body from breaking down carbohydrates) is much worse. The carbs are broken down by bacteria in your gut, and you swell up with fermented gases. Good times

  36. bnet41 says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: You’d be surprised how hard that can be. Drugs like this help you transition to that lifestyle change.

    Not everyone is naturally skinny, and some of us have to diet harder than others.

  37. Kimli says:

    It bothers me that people are up in arms for talking about someone’s sexual orientation but see nothing wrong for basically saying “if you weren’t such a fat oaf you wouldn’t need to take Alli in the first place”.

    Seriously, ouch.

  38. ctate says:

    At my local Wal-Mart they have huge anti-theft devices strapped around the boxes on display of Alli. If you cut them, the huge round black thing on the front supposedly sounds an alarm. How embarrassing would that be?
    I just figured that all of the stores had the same thing. Has nobody else seen these?

  39. FLConsumer says:

    Can’t wait to see the headlines next week/month, “Darker coloured clothing in high demand by shoplifters.” No connection to Alli, right. :)

  40. kerry says:

    @dvddesign: Most of the benefit the pill provides is making people cut back their fat intake so they don’t have anal leakage.

  41. kip says:

    From Alli’s website []

    “You may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. Until you have a sense of any treatment effects, it’s probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work.”

    Look for bandits with dark colored pants!

  42. synergy says:

    @dvddesign: Well people want to eat all the good-tasting food without the consequences. It’s kind of like a bulimic, but instead of forcing it back up, it’s shot straight through. O_o

  43. Sudonum says:

    @cnc1019: @dbeahn: @bambino:
    How about these from the very first BTC post:

    “I wanted to be a GAP girl, so I applied at two new mall stores, AeroPostale and Hollinger, but struck out there, probably because my cheekbones aren’t high enough and no one is going to grate cheese on my abs any time soon.”

    “They called Friday and wanted to interview me. I really didn’t want to be a checkout girl,….”

    Also did a search of the site using keywords like “gay”. The only hits I got were commentors stating that they thought she was a gay man. So show me where it states that he is a gay man.