October 30, 2012 |
Allergan Inc. is considering selling its Lap-Band weight-loss unit amid rapidly declining sales and a swarm of negative publicity about patient deaths and a criminal investigation of one of its former customers. Word of the potential sale came the same day the company disclosed that sales of the Lap-Band fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company reported $37.4 million in Lap-Band sales for the third quarter of 2012, a 25% decline from one year ago and 53% less than it sold in the third quarter of 2008.
September 8, 2012 |
A Bakersfield woman has sued Lap-Band marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN and several healthcare providers after complications from a 2011 weight-loss surgery forced doctors to remove her stomach. Natalie Swaim alleges that surgeons negligently implanted her Lap-Band weight-loss device, causing her stomach to lose blood supply and the tissue to die. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, also seeks damages from a Bakersfield hospital that treated Swaim in 2012 after complications surfaced.
July 22, 2012 |
The relationship between charities and philanthropists in the business community is governed by a sort of Newtonian law of equal and opposite benefits. The charities get money, goods or services. Their donors get self-satisfaction, community goodwill (which might mean more customers coming in the door), and positive character references to display to jurors, regulators or congressional subcommittees, if necessary. How much of that might apply to a newly formed Los Angeles philanthropy called No More Poverty?
February 8, 2012 |
Two clinics tied to 1-800-GET-THIN have temporarily halted Lap-Band weight-loss surgeries after the device's maker said it would no longer sell to companies affiliated with the massive advertising campaign. The two brothers identified in lawsuits as owners of the surgery centers also hired a top Los Angeles defense attorney to represent them in a flood of pending lawsuits. They retained John Hueston, a white-collar defense lawyer now at Irell & Manella who helped lead the Justice Department's criminal prosecution of Enron Corp.
January 22, 2012 |
Several current or former workers for the people behind those 1-800-GET-THIN ads have made allegations about this weight-loss enterprise that government regulators should have gotten to the bottom of long ago. Taken together, the allegations are that its patients are subjected to life-threatening conditions. The regulators can't ignore this situation anymore. The workers include Dyanne Deuel, a former manager at surgery centers affiliated with the GET-THIN marketing campaign, and Karla Osorio, a surgical technician.
January 20, 2012 |
Members of Congress are calling for an investigation into the 1-800-GET-THIN weight-loss surgery marketing campaign and the safety and effectiveness of the Lap-Band device. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) and two other House members called for congressional hearings to examine whether the sponsors of the ad campaign, their affiliated clinics and the device's manufacturer are improperly promoting a potentially dangerous surgery. In a letter sent Friday to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Waxman said Congress should subpoena documents from 1-800-GET-THIN and Lap-Band manufacturer Allergan Inc. FULL COVERAGE: Lap-Band investigation The letter cited a series of articles in The Times about patient deaths and recent studies that have questioned the long-term effectiveness of the Lap-Band, a ring that is surgically implanted around the stomach to discourage overeating.