The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General has issued a subpoena to Allergan Inc., regarding its gastric banding device for treating obesity.
A study published in the Archives of Surgery medical journal found that nearly half of all gastric band patients had no weight loss and need the band removed after six years. More than 40 percent of all gastric band patients suffered long-term complications.
In January, House Democrats called for a hearing on gastric bands, including the Lap-Band, which was acquired by Allergan when it purchased Inamed Corp in 2006.
According to Bloomberg, the FDA approved the Lap Band for people who were at least 100 pounds overweight, and who had a body mass index of 40 or over. It was also approved for people with a BMI of 35 if obesity-related health problems were present. Last year, Allergan received approval by the agency to market the device to patients with lower BMIs if they had one or more conditions related to obesity.
Allergan is also the maker of Botox, a popular wrinkle treatment.