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Allergan Erases Doctor Payment Records

You can still find some older Allergan payments in ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs database, along with data from 11 other drug companies.

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Allergan headquarters in Irvine, Calif. (Wikimedia Commons)

Now you see it. Now you don't.

Since April, drugmaker Allergan, best known for its wrinkle-fighting drugs Botox and Juvederm, has been posting on its website the payments it made to physicians for promotional speaking and consulting and the value of meals it provided to them.

But the Irvine, Calif., company recently removed all except the most recent payments from its website, erasing the record of those it had paid to help market its products from the third quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of last year.

Allergan's website now includes only those payments it made to doctors in the third quarter of 2011 -- and then only ranges, not specific dollar amounts.

Allergan's removal of the data won't prevent the public from viewing it. ProPublica's Dollars for Docs database of industry payments to doctors includes the figures Allergan had reported for the last half of 2010. Later this month, the company will post data for the full year 2011, and that will be added to the ProPublica database as well.

Allergan is among 12 pharmaceutical companies that post such payments to the web, either voluntarily or as a result of legal settlements with the U.S. government over allegations of improper marketing and illegal kickbacks to doctors. (Allergan pleaded guilty in September 2010 to a misdemeanor charge of promoting Botox for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It paid $600 million to resolve related criminal and civil lawsuits.)

Allergan is the only company to pull earlier payments from its site. The other 11 companies simply add new data while maintaining an archive of previous releases.

Allergan spokeswoman Heather Katt said in an email that Allergan remains in compliance with the terms of its corporate integrity agreement with the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

As part of that legal agreement, Katt said, Allergan was required to expand its disclosures in a second phase starting in November. In addition to speaking, consulting and meals, it now posts payments for research, royalties, travel and educational materials. Allergan decided to take down the earlier disclosures to avoid confusion, she said.

"The earlier reports were accurate, but represented limited data and as such would not provide meaningful or accurate comparisons," Katt said.

Donald White, a spokesman for the health department's inspector general, agreed that Allergan was in compliance with its corporate integrity agreement despite the removal of payment data.

Allergan's Katt said removing the older information was "in the spirit of providing the general public with the most current and comprehensive information."

Every pharmaceutical company will have to publicly report all payments to physicians nationwide beginning next year under a provision of the health-care overhaul known as the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.

I understand their concerns that the new standards might look to the careless as if their spending skyrocketed overnight.  But still, what a stupid move.  Imagine instead, “Pluto isn’t considered a planet anymore, so we deleted seventy years of astronomy” or “the tax rate has changed, so we have you listed as never having paid taxes.”

But, at least the data has been preserved.

Barry Schmittou

Feb. 1, 2012, 2:34 p.m.

ProPublica wrote that Allergan “paid $600 million to resolve related criminal and civil lawsuits”

Add them to the list of Non prosecution agreements for money laundering and bid rigging where no one was prosecuted that I posted at http://www.stopdeadlycorporatecrimes.blogspot.com

Wachovia Bank Laundered $378 Billion for the Murderous Mexican drug cartels, and Bank of America Laundered $3 Billion and No One Was Prosecuted !!

NBC Links Prove A 12 year Old San Diego Boy Was Kidnapped and Forced To Decapitate Four People For the Cartels !! 40,000 Murders Have Occurred Since 2006 !! 35 Bodies Were Recently Dumped in Front of a Busy Mall !! Many People are Disemboweled and Hung from Mexican Bridges !! American Farmers on the Border Are Moving Their Families Off of Their Farms and Wearing Bullet Proof Vests !!

MetLife, AIG and Other Insurance Companies Rigged Bids To Increase Sales of Health and Workers’ Comp Policies, While Ignoring Life Threatening Medical Conditions Including Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer and Cardiac Conditions of Many Patients and Destroying the Lives of Thousands of Injured and Disabled Americans, and Injured War Zone Contractors As Seen on the website !!

Obama took huge campaign contributions from two MetLife executives who actually signed the Non Prosection agreement for bid rigging of these policies, but nothing is being done about MetLife ignoring life threatening medical conditions when patients file claims !!

The leaders of both political parties act like the corporations are “too big to prosecute” no matter how many lives they destroy.

They are too dangerous not to prosecute.

I am often attacked in this comment section by people who support Obama or the Republican leaders, but the attackers ignore all the destruction of lives that is evidenced on the website linked above.

Barry,

I could not agree with you more.  The Department of Justice under Obama has really fallen down on the job.  It is such a disappointment and one of the reasons I won’t be contributing to his campaign fund.  (I never expected better from the Republicans).

arnold kleinmd

Feb. 2, 2012, 12:14 a.m.

When I was cut out of the whistleblower settlement from Allergan despite getting the back box warning on Botox I wrote the following. I have yet to get a response.


December 22, 2010

Sally Quillian Yates
Richard B. Russell Federal Building
75 Spring Street, S.W. Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30303-33

Dear Ms. Yates:

I reviewed the Justice Department settlement with Allergan and there are factors that are alarming.  Before he met with me Randy Chardash of the US Justice Department was not aware of the promotional courses given by Allergan for the spasticity associated with Botox.  As I indicated to him these courses provided a dangerous manner in which to treat Cerebral Palsy.  Additionally I provided him as well as the FBI and INS data concerning unlicensed Canadian physicians Alastair and Jean Carruthers who worked for virtually every company with injectables including Allergan and Medicis. Working these companies they practiced throughout the USA and did not have green cards. These doctors provded false and dangerous data regarding Botox dilution that was published in the medical literature and still used today.  I met with the FBI three times and INS two times.  I was promised inclusion in the whistleblower suite if filed.  Furthermore when I revealed the forged data on Botox dilution, David Pyott CEO of Allergan fired me as a consultant took my teaching grant, and prevented me from teaching additional CME courses and courses at medical meetings. A famous patient of mine became the spokesperson for Allergan and I was not allowed to inject him.Additionally, when I was sued over the use of Botox Allergan refused to speak with me or support me during the trial. They held a mock trial at Allergan which I lost . Fortunately I was responsible for winning the real trial according to Judge Victor Chavez. The trial personally cost me well over $500,00.00 which Allergan never reimpured me.Nevertheless, when I realized they were forging data I was the physician responsible for getting the Black-box warning on Botox.

2 weeks after I met with Chardash the computers from Allergan were confiscated. In the recent whitleblower Justice Department’s global settlement against Allergan they include both Nevada and California data none of the other individuals in the settlement could provide.Quickly after the settlement the FDA approved Botox for severe migraine . Are you aware the 6th investigator in one of the two trials holds the patent on this application.  Furthermore one of the investigators uses a dose of only 80 units leaving him 70 units to freely use cosmetically. The pivatol studies recommend doses of 155-195 units which when injected by neurologist’s unfamiliar with injection techniques may result in severe adverse reactions.


Sincerely

Arnold William Klein, MD
Professor of Medicine and Dermatology
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Barry Schmittou

Feb. 2, 2012, 5:55 a.m.

Thank you very much Betsy !!

Barry Schmittou

Feb. 2, 2012, 6:05 a.m.

I pray ProPublica will immediately investigate the DOJ’s failure to respond to Dr. Klein’s letter seen in his comment above.

Dr. Klein has provided another example of the U.S government ignoring corporate crimes and dangerous conflicts of interest like those I have posted at http://www.stopdeadlycorporatecrimes.blogspot.com

( I am still Working on a summary that divides the three types of cover-ups, eye cancer makes that very difficult to complete)

Dr. Klein’s comment above is an heroic example of providing evidence of dangerous failures and/or cover ups the U.S. government is involved in !!

Betsy, I am disappointed in Obama as well.  Set aside the determination of the Mad Dog Republicans (what’s left of a once honorable Party) to ruin Obama, even if it means ruining America.  He still comes across as gutless and naive, if not worse.,

However—we are again stuck in the eternal dilemma of the American Presidential elections—choosing the lesser of two evils.  Clearly, that is Obama.  Unless we bite the bullet and support him, a megalomaniac/narcissist like Gingrich or a corporate thug like Romney could sit in the White House, doing unimaginable harm to the people of this country.

And possibly—this is terrifying—having the chance to appoint a Supreme Court Justice.  Bad enough having the Citizens United majority in place now.  Imagine a Mad Dog President being able to appoint another—young!—corporate stooge!!!

We have to make sure that doesn’t happen, even if it means 4 more years of Obama.  Important:  Dems riding on Obama’s coat tails could take back the House.  Then the President might actually be able to get something done. So far, the mandate of the Mad Dogs, clearly enunciated by Mitch McConnell, is to make sure Obama is a one-term President. And screw the American people.

No,

What’s really sad about this is that we have to “babysit” our medical profession so that they don’t harm people…  Is it any wonder that I teach my daughter to take a baseball bat with her if she ever does have to see a doctor…

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Dollars for Doctors

Dollars for Doctors: How Industry Money Reaches Physicians

ProPublica is tracking the financial ties between doctors and medical companies.

The Story So Far

ProPublica is investigating the financial ties between the medical community and the drug and device industry. In October 2010, ProPublica compiled the list of payments that drug companies make to physicians and built a publicly searchable database so that patients could look up their doctors.

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