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Lap-Band Maker Halts Sales to Firms Affiliated With 1-800-GET-THIN Campaign

Please note, The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP is no longer accepting Lap Band claims. If you feel that you may have a potential case, we urge you to locate another law firm adequately suited to handle your claim.

After having received a significant amount of criticism for their affiliation with allegedly fraudulent advertising campaigns, Allergan Inc. has chosen to no longer sell Lap-Band products to several California surgery centers. The makers of the popular weight loss treatment acknowledged that they have “made the decision to presently discontinue the sale of the Lap-Band … to all entities affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN.” Allergan’s decision to no longer sell its product to clinics associated with the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign is in response to state and federal investigations the surgery centers are currently facing in leu of allegedly misleading advertising practices and insurance fraud.

As a revolutionary component to the field of bariatrics, lap band procedures provide assistance to those looking to treat significant weight problems. Lap band procedures provide obese individuals with a surgical answer to weight management. Recognizing that obesity may result in high blood pressure, diabetes, and other complications which impact both quality of life and life expectancy, lap band procedures are a growing field in bariatric medicine.

While the introduction of a Lap-Band device may prove beneficial in the treatment of obesity, they are not without concern. Lap-Band lawsuits have been filed against surgical centers for allegedly using a fraudulent advertising campaign. Critics of the bariatric devices suggest that marketing campaigns have fraudulently depicted several aspects of gastric banding. Most notably, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out warning letters to surgical centers participating in the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaigns.

Several surgical centers and one California marketing firm are being accused of neglected to include the risks of Lap-Band procedures in their advertising campaigns. While such advertisements boast of the miraculous weight loss results provided by the Lap-Band, they fail to address significant risks. Neglect such as this is in direct violation of federal law. The deceptive advertisements suggest that Lap-Band procedures are without concern.

Compounding concerns regarding the introduction of Lap-Band procedures are advertisements that neglect to inform patients of associated risks. Most notably are the deaths of five patients in Southern California who received Lap-Band devices from the surgical centers affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN.

Due to the recent influx of adverse events, bad press, and current litigation surrounding the 1-800-GET-THIN campaign, Allergan has decided to halt Lap-Band sales to those affiliated with the fraudulent advertising. In doing so, Allergan hopes to prevent the marketing of their products under false pretenses.

The decision to halt sales of Lap-Band devices to the companies connected with 1-800-GET-THIN has already proven detrimental to each individual practice. Without the ability to provide Lap-Band surgical procedures, each surgical center will lose a significant amount of business. However, actions taken by Allergan are being praised by critics of the campaign. “Allergan is the only manufacturer of the Lap-Band device. So this means the 1-800-GET-THIN surgery centers may be out of the Lap-Band business,” Robertson said. “Hopefully, it’s going to result in saving lives and preventing further tragic outcomes.”

Though they do not agree with Allergan’s decision, they acknowledge they will continue to provide bariatric support to those who need it. According to a surgery center representative, “Our surgery centers are staffed with experienced bariatric surgeons, trained by Allergan on the proper procedures for implanting the Lap-Band. Patients interested in weight loss solutions have a range of options, of which the Lap-Band is only one. We will continue to work with our patients to find the best healthcare options for their medical needs.”

Do I Have a Lap-Band Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Lap-Band lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a Lap-Band device or surgical procedure, you may be entitled to financial compensation. For a free case review, please click the link below or call toll free 24 hrs/day 1-800-773-0849.

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