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Allergan Stops Sales of Lapband to 1-800-Get-Thin Bariatric Surgery Centers

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In Southern California, the 1-800-Get-Thin advertisements can be seen on billboards promising weight loss up to 130 pounds. However, the maker of the lapband device, Allergan, recently announced that it will stop selling the product to 1-800-Get-Thin over concerns of the company's poor safety record.

Back in December, the FDA warned 1-800-Get-Thin that their ads were misleading because they fail to spell out the risks associated with the surgery. In addition, the Los Angeles Times also reported at least 5 deaths of individuals that underwent surgery at one of the 1-800-Get-Thin affiliated surgical centers. The 1-800-Get-Thin marketing firm and individuals who own affiliated surgical centers have been hit with two wrongful death suits and a whistleblower suit filed by ex-employees and patients who are concerned over the safety of the centers, billing fraud, and the cover-up of a death of at least 1 patient.

Allergan says that it has no ties to 1-800-Get-Thin and that it has no control over how its buyers market the product. On February 2, the company said that is stopped selling the device to 1-800-Get-Thin. The California Department of Insurance is also investigating the claims of billing fraud and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is seeking legislation to regulate bariatric treatment centers more tightly.