Oregon Rosacea Institute Contract

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THE OREGON CONTRACT

Many of you had pinned your hopes for a cure on the treatment and research institute Geoffrey Nase promised to set up in Portland, Oregon. For months, all of the rosacea groups were abuzz with his upbeat talk about the institute he would soon be opening with the physician and laser specialist, Dr Jerry Darm.

As rosaceans, the debunkers also hoped for the miraculous cure we all want so desperately, but we feared that Nase’s history would crash the project before it got past the planning stage. That is exactly what happened, due to their falling out, but the actual details of this wonderful institute had stayed secret - until now.

We have obtained a copy of the last of four versions of the contract, which Nase termed “the final last contract” and submitted under oath as part of court proceedings. In his deposition, Nase testified that this was the contract he finally agreed to, signed before a notary, and faxed back to Oregon. It was never signed by Darm, but was close to being finalised after long negotiation.

On that basis, Darm had begun paying Nase on April 1, 2005. This document sets out all the details of their great venture, and it's a real shocker. We suggest that you read the PDF before coming back to read the rest of our statement.

Read the text of the contract

NaseDarmContract.pdf

Now please consider this post Nase sent to Rosacea Support, January 22, 2005:

I appreciate the offers for reimbursement and such, but I could never accept them. That is not what I am about. People should do things for others for free and out of the pure generosity to help those who are suffering.

(http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/rosacea-support/message/66924)

So what does the great Oregon contract actually say about this benevolent philanthropist? The entire purpose of the document is to use Nase’s prestige in order to push Darm’s laser treatment services. To put it bluntly, Darm was paying Nase to recommend him as “one of the top laser specialists in the world” (clause 3.1).

This contract was solely about boosting their respective bank balances.

Frankly, we were saddened and shocked to learn that rosaceans had been sold out. Rosacea sufferers are entitled to feel a little dirty after reading this contract; we certainly do. We have all been sold out via a corrupt contract. Our regular readers know that we choose our words very carefully. Nase has told many lies in the past, but after this despicable act, he clearly cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

Nase had, over several months, told the groups that he and Darm were still negotiating terms and we’d heard that the contract was rewritten at least two or three times before they came close to agreement, but the details were never revealed. Now we know that they weren’t negotiating over the finer points of how best to help rosacea sufferers, or which experts should be involved in the institute.

Collaboration ??

No, indeed, the ‘collaboration’ Nase was so anxious to clarify and formalize was just a cooperative effort between the Darm and Nase bank accounts.

It is immediately apparent that what Nase and Darm have both termed their ‘contract’ is nothing more than a marketing plan to promote Darm’s clinic, which was to be “exclusively featured” on Nase’s web site (clause 2). Even the title says it’s a marketing agreement. The only reference to the wonderful treatment and research institute appears in clause 4.10, which simply states that Nase must “Inform patients of the possibility of the inauguration of the Rosacea Institute and his potential participation therein on the Clinic Site and elsewhere”.

That’s it. One short sentence in a 7-page document. Nase didn’t have to start an institute, he just had to talk about starting an institute. The institute was not even at the planning stage, but rosaceans were to have it dangled in front of them as a tantalising possibility. This is outrageously cynical behavior.

Patient Gathering

The agreement sets out the main interest in clause 5.3, on Performance Benchmarks: how Nase can channel more rosaceans into Darm’s treatment chair, or “patient gathering from support groups”, as it is so crudely phrased. (“Patient gathering” makes it sound like the harvesting of vegetables from a field, ready for canning. How dare anyone talk about rosaceans like that?!)

There is only one performance benchmark, and that is the number of patient referrals Nase makes. That’s the only way Nase can be judged to have held up his end of this agreement. After four years, the benchmark for Nase to hit is 10 new patients per day.

Now compare that with a message Nase posted to the Rosacea Forum earlier this month. You will find it under the heading of ‘Dr. Bitter Sr. -- Derm and Laser Specialist -- Next Interview’, October 5, 2005 (we’ve added the emphasis):

Hi Perry,

I spoke with Patrick about this. He loves the questions. Patrick wont be answering any questions until our case is settled though. He will answer this interview once everything is settled and the hate site taken down, but will never join the RS Group like Soldo has (and neither will Dr. Diaz) because he thinks that what is happening on that board is way out of control. That is why he never joined when I asked him all those years..... he thinks a support board like that is not meant for recruiting patients.

The answers to the gene therapy interview should be finished late this week. Ill be interested to see what Dr. Berens has to say to the indepth questions that this group asked him.

Geoffrey

Sadly, one of the key duties of Forum moderators these days is the protection of Nase’s waning reputation, so a moderator hurried in and removed the middle section of this message. Even so, we’re sure the board owner would have the honesty to confirm that what you see above is exactly what Nase posted.

Note that recruiting patients from a support board is precisely what Nase was paid for in April, May, June and July of this year. Look at the table of payments in clause 6.1 to see how much Nase got for his services during that time. (We won’t say ‘earned’ because that would suggest entitlement to the money.)

Before God, Not One Single Cent !

Nase has often sworn that he never made any money from rosacea. Here’s one such post, from ESFB on June 7:

In 7 years of posting to the Internet I have not made one single cent from any doctor, source or product. As God is my witness, not one single cent from any doctor, source or product. My book I sell for a 5% profit. This has already been proven and addressed. A 5% profit to research, write, edit and self publsh my own book. ... I have never ever made a single penny for anything relating to rosacea. ... 7 years I have been in the trenches making nothing -- not a single doctor gave me a penny for talking about them, writing articles, laser machines, medications....anything. 7 years of thousands of posts to many different boards and only 5% profit on the book.

(‘RRF and Dr. Geoffrey Nase’, reply #9)

Just last month, Nase was still claiming that patient referrals weren’t the name of the game:

I was NOT joining to recruit patients, I was building a Research environment to publish and collaborate with the University of Oregon Health Science Center on different aspects of rosacea (not just lasers)

(ESFB, ‘Off Topic Information -- Please Skip Over’, reply #6, September 16)

And in a PDF Nase placed on his own website, ironically titled ‘Finally the Truth Comes to Light’, he wrote:

For the record, I was not paid a single penny for referrals and have never been paid for referrals in the eight years of rosacea consulting. Not one penny from one doctor. … This was about me building something for collaborative studies that would hopefully bring me to retirement or until an outright cure was found for rosacea.

Just Thousands of Dollars

One real kicker is that Nase would not even have had to move to Oregon to fulfil the terms of the agreement. He wasn’t required to lift so much as a finger doing research or anything other than exercise his key performance area, which is posting to internet support groups. Yes, he could just sit at home on his computer and puff Darm’s services day and night while raking in a minimum of $6,000 a month.

That will answer a few of the queries over why Nase made no attempt to move to Oregon. (One interesting fact hardly anyone knows is that Darm and Nase have never actually met. Sadly, it appears that most of Nase’s relationships are confined to the internet, forming friendships with people he never meets.)

According to section 9, Additional Marketing Activities, Nase could get extra payments for writing articles or papers puffing the clinic. But his role as PR man with the boards would also include having “to identify and resolve negative reactions when appropriate” (clause 4.7). Well, handling complaints about bad treatments and trying to correct problems is part of the doctor’s job. It is most emphatically not something to outsource.

To return to clause 5.3 on Performance Benchmarks:

“Dr Nase sees no problem in meeting the agreed upon numbers and has already tripled his business, but 30% to 40% of immediate patient gathering from support groups has been irrevocably damaged and thus it may take more time to reach those numbers and a new approach by revision and different marketing than expected.”

That was how Nase discussed the damage done to Darm’s reputation among the groups after Darm’s disciplinary record had been revealed on the Rosacea Support board. The considerable sums of money at stake certainly help to explain Nase’s fury at the woman who first released this uncomfortable information, and the other women who dared to defend her.

Note the claim in clause 4.2 that Nase could reach 70,000 members of 10 rosacea support groups. Are there really 10 such groups and so many members? Rosacea Support has just over 6,000 members, and membership of each of the other groups is counted in the hundreds. It looks as if Darm was being short-changed.

No Apologies, No Sense of Shame

Nase has repeatedly defended these payments, saying that the money was his due for setting up the institute:

Salary for work starting April 1, absolutely. Long term contract for setting up Rosacea Research and Treatment Institute -- 12 to 14 hours a day to collaborate and do research. Need some type of salary or just send me Ramen Noodles I guess.

(ESFB, ‘Five Laser Treatments for $30 copay -- Yep’, on July 26, 2005)

Here’s another post defending his contract:

I resigned my academic position and I gave up a huge offer to work at a pharmaceutical company to dedicate myself to rosacea. Now, to do this, one does need to get paid, especially if one is to build the first Rosacea Research and Treatment Institute. That was now my career people get paid for careers. I was not paid to send patients to any doctors period. I was paid for my upcoming work on the Institute as stipulated in my contract. In fact, I continued to recommend patients to all the best doctors, wherever they were located. My job was research. …

(ESFB, ‘Debunking Site Discredited’, August 1, 2005)

One more, from a wide selection of quotes we have to choose from :

I will state this one time emphatically --- NEVER HAVE I RECEIVED ONE PENNY FOR A PHYSICIAN REFERRAL AS THEY ALLEGE (WITHOUT PROOF OR NAMES) NOR HAVE I EVER APPROACHED A DOCTOR TO DO THIS EVER IN MY LIFE.

BTW, Dr. Darm spends $20,000 a month on advertising -- why in the world would you need patient referrals?

My contract with Dr. Darm was a five year salaried position to do research and run the Rosacea Institute with the understanding that my contract would be extended indefinitely until Darm retired. It had nothing whatsoever to do with patients. Sure some would come because of me and some would ask -- then I would tell them, but I referred as many patients during the short stint to other doctors as I did Darm.

(ESFB, ‘Rosacea Forum Completes First Interview - Gene’, reply #45, August 23, 2005)

Why did Nase refer some patients to other doctors? We don’t know. Perhaps it was to remind Darm that their contract was not yet secure. But nothing can lessen the damage this document will do to the reputations of both these men. No one objects to people making money, provided they do their best to help patients and are honest about their endeavors, but this contract was completely unethical, and possibly even illegal.

Many states have laws against fee-splitting, against doctors taking kick-backs for patient referrals. Nase frequently tries to pass himself off as near-as-dammit a physician, but if the Indiana Attorney General summons him in for a free consultation, this may be the one time in Nase’s whole life that he goes down on his knees and gives thanks that he isn't a real medical doctor, as defined by the law.

Lastly, let us not forget the lawyer's letters Nase sent to suspected debunkers once his contract with Darm had fallen through, warning that he would seek a million dollars in compensation for the income he considered lost:

"Knowing that Dr. Nase had a contract with Dr. Darm, your website caused this contract to be cancelled. Thus, it can be legally inferred that but for your website, Dr. Nase would continue to have a business contract with Dr. Darm. The damages incurred by Dr. Nase currently are nearing seven figures and are continuing to rise, and can be shown to be a direct result of your website."

Our Summary

Nase can say what he likes about his contract and the proposed Institute, but thanks to the absolute power of evidence under oath, all rosacea sufferers can see for themselves what was at the core of Nase and Darm’s great plans.