Allergan scrubs some doc-payment data, spares med-ed grants

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Allergan removed records from its website that had detailed payments made to doctors from the middle of 2010 through first-half 2011. What's left are listings of payments made to physicians in the third quarter of 2011, as well as medical education grants dating back to late 2010.

Unlike the payment data that were removed, the remaining listings classify the healthcare provider payment into one of several categories such as educational materials, business travel or meals. However, the earlier listings showed not just ranges but specific dollar amounts.

“The earlier reports were accurate but simply removed from Allergan's Web site because they would not provide meaningful or accurate comparisons on Allergan's healthcare provider payments relative to the more comprehensive report currently available,” Heather Katt, an Allergan spokeswoman, told MM&M by e-mail.

The disappearing data were first reported by ProPublica.org, and some of the information can still be viewed on its Dollars for Docs database, specifically reports covering the last half of 2010.

Later this month, Allergan plans on adding two new reports to its site showing HCP spend for the last half of 2011, as per a corporate integrity agreement the company signed with the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services that went into effect in August 2010. That year Allergan agreed to plead guilty and pay $600 million to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from promotion of Botox for unapproved uses.

Medical-education grant listings for the first six months of 2011, and from September to December 2010, are still viewable on Allergan's website. The corporate integrity agreement requires the company to post the med-ed records bi-annually.

"We will post a new [med-ed] report at the end of this month for the period of July 1- December 31, 2011," Katt noted. "The report currently on the site will remain. The format and data categories in the report that will be posted at the end of the month are the same as the report currently posted."

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