Still More Broken Promises
With the Texas institute, there was quite a gulf between the superb results Nase promised rosaceans and the troubling messages filtering back to internet support groups. The two latest patient reports at the Rosacea Forum’s special thread for RTIT feed-back are particularly telling.
Following Nase’s supposedly ‘expert professional advice’, one rosacean (posting as “jpappliance”) paid for a package of 7 laser treatment sessions crammed into 10 days, instead of being spaced out over several months, which is normal practice. It was, he later said, “probably the worst decision in my life”. “My face also is way worse than when I started. It has been 6 months now and I can hardly take it any more. This is like my worst nightmere come true. ... My face is ruined from this treatment.” When he complained, Nase tried to persuade him to go through another six treatments that would have gone “even deeper” into the skin.
“JustSomeGal” also bought a package of 7 compressed laser treatments at a cost of $3,600, plus more than $200 for the products Nase and Nielson prescribed for her. She then posted that the laser treatment had her skin looking like “horrific” acne and took a month to clear. The Angiostop herbal supplement Nase raves about caused severe dizziness and heart palpitations. During the consultation, Nase promised her “a cure”, but seven months later, she has permanent redness, papules, bumpiness, burning, itching, hypersensitive, parched and flaking skin. “I am frightful to look at now.”
Nase had, apparently, ignored every appeal for help, and even failed to honor his commitment to do all he could to get insurance coverage for her treatments.
“He already had my money. I knew then that I had been scammed. He absolutely did not care about his “patients”. Once you are in the door and paid your money, his job is done. ... This is a scam to take your money. My heart is absolutely broken that they have patients all the way from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa who go to even farther extremes to get to this place only to be suckered in. For these my heart breaks.”
Dr. Jerry Darm first came up with the idea of a sped-up series of multi-pass laser treatments and started using it in his Oregon clinic in 2004. Although some clients had good results, others said it had made their rosacea vastly worse. Nase initially criticised the technique, asserting that it might prove harmful, but switched to praising it after Darm agreed to put him on the payroll. Nase then even claimed it as his own invention. When fired by Darm, Nase denounced the protocol as “dangerous snake oil”. That only changed when Nase made a deal with Nielson and the protocol was exported to Texas.
See our previous article: The disowning of Dr. Darm continues
From the October 2006 announcement of this latest in a long line of (failed) collaborations, it was clear that Nase was promising more than would be delivered. The institute was to have its own grand wing with specially-designated sections for rosacea’s host of symptoms, triggers and treatments. Nase promised a range of unknown treatments such as “topical cannabinoid agonists”, “cleaved polypeptides” and the G-protein modifiers Nase supposedly used to cure his imaginary patient "Maria Cappolla". The people who mocked Nase for writing her fake post would at last be able to try the great wonder cure for themselves ... if the FDA had ever approved it as a treatment for rosacea.
For more details read our previous articles: Rosacea Forum: Maria Cappolla & Threats against RF and RRDi and Maria Cappolla: The Truth at Last.
The institute was supposed to make good on Nase’s other broken promises, including hosting his long-overdue Quarterly Reports, super-group and informational database. None of those things ever happened, either.
Through the 18 months Nase was employed by the RTIT, the internet boards only received feed-back on it from around 15 people. Most took the free phone consultation with Nase, but went no further. A key factor was the difference between Nase’s promises and more realistic comments from RTIT staff. One client cancelled his planned treatment saying that he had been seriously misled.
“Nase said they would ‘knock my rosacea out of the park’ and out it in remission and Dr. Neilson told me there are NO guarantees and the treatment MIGHT help. I told Dr. Neilson that I think Dr. Nase is misleading many people and that you better talk to him to clear things up.”
Apparently, Nase routinely assured phone consult clients that he could put their rosacea into remission, which is as close as you can get to a cure with this disorder. One woman was told that a single course of laser treatments would clear her capillaries and redness for decades. Others were told that no touch-ups would ever be required, although the norm with lasers is to have regular maintenance treatments.
Nase brushed aside concerns that there might be serious side effects from the intensive laser treatments, saying that out of more than 950 cases treated, only 2 people had any bad side effects and those were a bubble blister gone in 2 days. If asked directly, staff genuinely working in the institute would admit that patients might have redness, swelling, purpura, and brown spots that could last for up to a month.
Staff also acknowledged that the laser protocol was getting mixed results. Here is a posted report of a phone conversation with the institute’s treatment co-ordinator: “Most patients left very swollen and red. Since she never saw them again, she couldn't state how well they did post-treatment. She said that some people called and said that they were not satisfied with their results.” That was in November 2007, yet the treatments continued as scheduled.
If patients asked RTIT employees about insurance cover, they were told it was unlikely. Yet Nase very publicly used as a major selling point the claim that in almost all cases he was getting patients 75 – 100% reimbursement. Nase encouraged rosaceans – even college students and others on tight budgets - to pay out thousands of dollars in advance for these treatment packages on the grounds that they could expect to receive almost all of the money back, and “within 60 days on average”.
Looking through board messages, it is striking how few people came across as really confident about Nase’s recommendations or satisfied with the treatments themselves. Apart from the first genuine patient - a former moderator at the Forum who initially had excellent results but eight months later was still suffering from “severe flushing” – all of the rave reviewers were accused of being as fake as "Maria Cappolla", "Amanda", and the other phony identities Nase has been known to create to serve his purposes. But that is another story.