With all the news of late regarding the FDA and device makers - i.e. influencing decision making through unethical practices, it is hard not to suspect Allergan and Bioenterics Coorporation of such tactics.
An FDA advisor panel has just recommended that the inclusion criteria for Lap-Band surgery be changed to allow more obese persons to qualify. Currently one has to be morbidly obese as defined by BMI of 40+ or have chronic disease conditions and a BMI as low as 35. The recommendation is to change those numbers to 35 and 30 respectively. As much as 30% of the US population could qualify and the price is well over $10,000 when its all calculated. How much money would all the players make? Device seller and maker, surgeon, hospital, anesthesiologist, etc etc. Will this be covered by Medicare and Medicaid?
I remain opposed to this procedure and any invasive weight loss measures - drugs, surgery of electroconvulsive therapy. But not because of the money - my main reason - straight from the FDA website, is this:
When should it not be used? It should not be used for people who are poor candidates for surgery, have certain stomach or intestinal disorders, have an infection, have to take aspirin frequently, or are addicted to alcohol or drugs. It should not be used on patients who are not able or willing to follow the rules for eating and exercise that are recommended by the doctor after surgery.