In an unusual move, the FDA has warned a marketing company and 8 surgery centers in Southern California that their billboards and other advertisements touting weight-loss surgery are misleading because they don’t adequately describe the risks from the procedure.
The agency’s letters ask the surgery centers and the marketing firm 1-800-GET-THIN to pull the allegedly misleading advertising.
In a letter to 1-800-GET-THIN, the agency cites a billboard whose copy reads:
"LOSE WEIGHT WITH THE LAP-BAND! SAFE 1 HOUR, FDA APPROVED; 1-800-GET-THIN; 1-800-953-5000; PPO INSURANCE; FREE INSURANCE VERIFICATION"
The billboard and other ads don’t tell prospective patients enough about risks and other important factors, such as the age range and body mass index required to qualify for the Lap-Band, according to the FDA.
Even some marketing materials that include a few more details, such as suggesting a physician consultation, don’t go far enough in the agency’s view.
[Source: NPR Health Blog]