December 19th, 2011

Lap-Band maker needs to step up

By Michael Hiltzik
Los Angeles Times

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.

Yet it’s still proper to ask: When will Allergan move from merely projecting the image — and start accepting the real responsibilities — of corporate citizenship?

The question arises from last week’s action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration against the high-profile marketers of one of Allergan’s products. The product is the Lap-Band, a silicone ring implanted around the stomach to suppress appetite in exceptionally obese patients, and the marketers are 1-800-GET-THIN and what lawsuits, coroners reports and other public records have identified as its affiliated surgery centers.

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