The FDA finally cracked down on billboard marketing campaigns that portray Lap-Band surgery as risk-free. Two reporters and a public health official from Los Angeles deserve some of the credit for the FDA's move.
The doctors behind the "Diets Fail!" campaign to get people to undergo Lap-Band surgery have innovated again. Failing to win a libel case against the newspaper that exposed their shady business practices, they are attempting to persuade a judge to treat newspaper reporters like the Mafia.
Should the California Medical Board make a public case for more money? Yes, William Heisel says, noting that it costs doctors more to protect the few bad doctors in their midst from punishment than it does to help maintain the state’s system of medical rules and guidelines.
Allergan, the maker of the Lap-Band surgical device, likes to say that it puts patient safety first.
Undoubtedly, it does not want patients to have a bad outcome. More injuries and deaths from Lap-Band surgeries – especially at a time when the company is seeking FDA approval to expand the use of the devices – could derail a very successful sales record.
Yet many of the clinics and doctors being promoted as Lap-Band surgeons on the company’s own website have a series of problems that should give patients pause.
The consequences can be severe when clinics lure patients by setting up “1-800” numbers and offering free seminars seven days a week to extol the virtues of Lap-Band surgery, all while telling patients that “Dieting Sucks” or “Diets Fail.”