Full coverage: Lap-Band investigation

Lap-Band investigation
A Lap-Band billboard in East L.A. (Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
 

President of 1-800-GET-THIN marketing firm resigns

March 2, 2012

President of 1-800-GET-THIN marketing firm resigns

The president of the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing company, which has blanketed Southern California freeways and television and radio stations with ads for Lap-Band weight-loss surgery, said he has resigned "to pursue other career opportunities."

Doctor accuses 1-800-GET-THIN president of identity theft

7:56 PM PST, February 21, 2012

Doctor accuses 1-800-GET-THIN president of identity theft

A Marina del Rey anesthesiologist has filed a lawsuit accusing the president of the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing firm of identity theft for using the doctor's name to establish a corporation that billed insurers without his permission.

1-800-GET-THIN president's suit against Times columnist dismissed

9:00 AM PST, February 16, 2012

1-800-GET-THIN president's suit against Times columnist dismissed

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused a columnist for The Times of illegally recording conversations with the president of the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing firm.

Clinics halt Lap-Band surgeries

February 8, 2012

Clinics halt Lap-Band surgeries

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.

Doctor accused of 'gross negligence' in death of Lap-Band patient

February 4, 2012

Doctor accused of 'gross negligence' in death of Lap-Band patient

The Medical Board of California has faulted a doctor in the 2010 death of a Lap-Band patient who had surgery at a clinic affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN ad campaign, filing charges that could cause him to lose his license to practice.

Allergan halts Lap-Band sales to 1-800-GET-THIN clinics

6:26 PM PST, February 2, 2012

Allergan halts Lap-Band sales to 1-800-GET-THIN clinics

The maker of the Lap-Band will no longer sell its product to clinics affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing company — a blow to Southern California surgery centers that have built an empire implanting the weight-loss devices in people looking to shed pounds.

1-800-GET-THIN centers criticized

January 31, 2012

1-800-GET-THIN centers criticized

Weight-loss surgeons from across the United States are attempting to distance themselves from surgery centers affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising for Lap-Band surgery.

State launches Lap-Band investigation

6:22 PM PST, January 26, 2012

State launches Lap-Band investigation

The California Department of Insurance is investigating the business practices of Lap-Band surgery centers affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign, according to insurer Aetna Inc.

Inaction by regulators as weight loss surgery allegations mount

January 22, 2012

Michael Hiltzik: Inaction by regulators as weight loss surgery allegations mount

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.

L.A. County to address Lap-Band ads

December 17, 2011

L.A. County to address Lap-Band ads

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing to consider steps the county can take to address concerns about the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising for Lap-Band surgery.

Lap-Band maker needs to step up

10:20 PM PST, December 16, 2011

Michael Hiltzik: Lap-Band maker needs to step up

Like most big companies, Irvine pharmaceutical giant Allergan Inc. likes to project the image of an upstanding corporate citizen. Indeed, it devotes several pages of its website to its purported good works.

FDA accuses 1-800-GET-THIN of using misleading Lap-Band ads

December 14, 2011

FDA accuses 1-800-GET-THIN of using misleading Lap-Band ads

The Food and Drug Administration has accused the 1-800-GET-THIN marketing company of using misleading advertising in its promotion of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery, saying the billboard, radio and television ads underplay serious risks to patients.

It's about time that FDA took action against Lap-Band billboards

December 14, 2011

Michael Hiltzik: It's about time that FDA took action against Lap-Band billboards

It has taken almost two years, but government regulators finally woke up to the idea that those 1-800-GET-THIN billboards plastered all over Southland freeways may be dangerous to your health.

FDA accuses 1-800-GET-THIN centers of deceptive advertising

December 13, 2011

FDA accuses 1-800-GET-THIN centers of deceptive advertising

Weight loss surgical centers affiliated with 1-800-GET-THIN are accused of misleading consumers about the risks of the device used to treat obesity.

Lap-Band sales fell 16% in third quarter, Allergan says

October 26, 2011

Lap-Band sales fell 16% in third quarter, Allergan says

The Lap-Band is familiar to many Southern California residents because it is marketed extensively by a company called 1-800-GET-THIN on freeway billboards, television, radio and the Internet.

Tighter scrutiny for outpatient surgery centers

October 10, 2011

Tighter scrutiny for outpatient surgery centers

Outpatient surgery centers in California that perform Lap-Band operations and other procedures will face new scrutiny under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Michael Hiltzik: Clinics plug nonprofit to help patients get Lap-Band coverage

October 5, 2011

Michael Hiltzik: Clinics plug nonprofit to help patients get Lap-Band coverage

Letters offering legal help to fight insurers for coverage of weight-loss surgery don't disclose links between the lawyers and 1-800-GET-THIN.

Another patient dies after Lap-Band surgery

September 23, 2011

Another patient dies after Lap-Band surgery

An Orange County woman has died after weight-loss surgery at a West Hills outpatient clinic, the fifth person to die shortly after Lap-Band procedures at clinics affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign since 2009, according to lawsuits, coroner's records and interviews.

Lap-Band clinic is directed to improve

May 3, 2011

Lap-Band clinic is directed to improve

A Beverly Hills outpatient surgery center affiliated with the 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign has been advised to make improvements or risk losing its accreditation, according to a spokeswoman for the center's accrediting agency.

Michael Hiltzik: FDA seems to take light approach to Allergan and Lap-Band

February 22, 2011

Michael Hiltzik: FDA seems to take light approach to Allergan and Lap-Band

In 1960, a young inspector for the Food and Drug Administration faced down a powerful drug company by rejecting its application to sell a morning-sickness drug in the United States.

Lap-Band clinic sued over death

February 11, 2011

Lap-Band clinic sued over death

A fourth Southern California patient has died following Lap-Band weight-loss surgery at a clinic connected to the pervasive 1-800-GET-THIN advertising campaign, according to a lawsuit filed by the patient's husband.

Michael Hiltzik: Lap-Band maker Allergan wants it both ways

January 23, 2011

Michael Hiltzik: Lap-Band maker Allergan wants it both ways

This year is shaping up as a gratifying one for Allergan, the big Irvine company known for Botox and breast implants.

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