Clues on a silver platter

Clues on a silver platter

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Sometimes you can scratch your head trying to search for clues, when all along, they are in your hands. Sam Cohen had given to me the goldmine of information that my team and I were wondering how to obtain. Mr Cohen has threatened to sue me, so we are getting ready. Meanwhile, we were wondering how we might source the names of all his clients. What if he destroys all his files?

Of course we could subpoena documents from his pharmacists who would have a list of all the clients for whom the topical solutions were compounded (not to mention the other drugs dispensed). Indeed we would do that, but that’s not the perfect starting point. We believe that IHRB is sending prescriptions to the pharmacy (perhaps several different pharmacies), but when the bottles come back to IHRB, the labels are removed and the medications are sold to other unsuspecting people, like me. I was given medications without a doctor’s prescription. So my name would not appear on any of his pharmacists’ computers. And although we would eventually scrutinise every prescription made by his pharmacists, there would still be a missing link. We need to prove that scripts were filled for people who did not receive them. I was given medications that were not made for me (click here to see how Sam Cohen removed the patient labels from the bottles he gave me). Six months into my treatment, with only six months to go, Mr Cohen wanted me to go onto a short-term booster, of say three months. That’s 90 days. Yet he wanted me to obtain a prescription for Loniten for 600 days. This is how he hoards prescriptions and medications. Long after I would have left his treatment, he could still use my prescription to fill orders for medications which he can then give to other people who might not know any better. Or he might use the Loniten tablets and crush them and mix them into his topical solution. The mind boggles.

So dear reader, my team and I needed a better cross-referencing mechanism, and you would not believe what we had in our files, handed to us on a silver platter. It occurred to me that the list of doctors that Sam Cohen had given to me, was actually compiled for a different reason than Mr Cohen had first told me. Mr Cohen gave me the list after I told him that my GP and my Specialist both would not give me a prescription for his dangerous treatment. It was then that Mr Cohen gave me a list of 276 doctors whom he said knew all about this treatment. Click here to read how Mr Sam Cohen told me to ditch my doctors.

At first, I thought that these were doctors with whom Mr Cohen had a real relationship. I imagined him inviting these doctors to a medical conference where he might have presented his findings. I imagined these doctors being trained by him; in view of him boasting that he knows more than any doctor about hair, considering his 38 (now 40) years of experience.

It is now a pleasant surprise that I was misled. This is not a list of doctors who know anything about IHRB or Sam Cohen. It is a list of doctors whose regular patients had come to them asking for a prescription for Minoxidil and Retin-A and perhaps Loniten and Proscar. This is a list of the doctors who had at some point assisted their private patient, and that patient happened to be a client at IHRB. Hence, this list is a goldmine. We could cross-reference this list with the pharmacist’s records, and know the name of every client. Then we can build a database showing the dates of when someone started and when they concluded their IHRB treatment, interview people, work out what they were given, and determine if the pharmacists were asked to compound any medications for anyone who was no longer receiving the treatment.

To double-prove this, we would then follow the financial records. If Sam Cohen will insist that the bottles were given to their intended recipient, we would check the bank records of either one or all the parties.

It’s quite simple now that we have been handed this gem, all neatly typed, which I have already had re-typed when I first wrote to each doctor. It all makes sense now as to why doctors were nervous or why they said that they do not deal with IHRB. It all makes sense.

Thank you Mr Cohen.


Even after the February 2011 HCCC Permanent Prohibition Order was served on IHRB, Mr Cohen was still giving clients a list of doctors. He said to one client/victim in April that he should keep trying different doctors until he (the client) had found one that would issue a prescription for the non-approved medications. Mr Cohen gave that client a list of doctors. This week, I sent a letter to all doctors on that list, alerting them about Mr Cohen’s claims. The text from the letter appears below. I started to receive calls and emails from concerned doctors who said that they had never heard of Mr Cohen and did not want to be on his list. This was my letter:

Dear Doctor

Your name appears on a list of doctors that Mr Sam Cohen of IHRB distributes to his clients, encouraging them to ignore their own GP’s advice and shop-around until they find a doctor who will prescribe non-approved medications. Mr Cohen advises his clients that you are likely to provide such prescriptions, on the basis that you have done so in the past.

The Health Care Complaints Commission has served a Permanent Prohibition Order on IHRB and Mr Cohen. The Commissioner of HCCC, Mr Kieran Pehm, said,

‘Mr Cohen has breached the code of conduct for unregistered health practitioners in that he has failed to provide health services in a safe and ethical manner and his provision of health services is a risk to public health and safety.’

Mr Cohen overdoses his clients on Minoxidil topical solutions comprising Retin-A, along with Finasteride (Proscar/Propecia) & Loniten. As you know, Retin-A, Proscar, and Loniten are not approved by the TGA for hair growth. IHRB clients have suffered from serious adverse effects.

No doubt you are aware of the legal complexities and medical risks associated IHRB’s insistence on clients using so many non-approved medications simultaneously, at high dosages.

Additional information is available at

If you could warn your colleagues and associates, feel free to forward this letter onto them.


23 May 2011

P.S. Attached is an article wherein the then NSW President of the AMA warns against this practice, and wherein dermatologists warn against the use of Retin-A. As is widely published, the risks associated with Loniten are dire, even though Mr Cohen misleads doctors by saying that Loniten is merely minoxidil. As you know, only ‘topical’ Minoxidil is approved. Loniten is specifically not approved for hair, and can be dangerous.

Below is a letter that I had sent to compounding pharmacists to alert them to take care in case Mr Cohen tries to do business with them. That letter was sent after a client of IHRB was asked by Mr Cohen of the client was friendly with any compounding pharmacists. This was a strange question that led me to suspect that Mr Cohen might be shopping around for a compounding pharmacist after his long-standing relationship the Melbourne pharmcist turned sour, an after he left a second pharmacist in dire straits, owing him $14,800.

Dear Compounding Pharmacist

This is to inform you that the Health Care Complaints Commission has served a Permanent Prohibition Order on the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty of Sydney, operated by Mr Sam (Samuel) Cohen.

Mr Cohen and IHRB promote a hair regrowth formula that includes Minoxidil topical solutions that comprise Retin-A, and other medications such as Finasteride (Proscar/Propecia) & Loniten. As you know, Retin-A, Proscar, and Loniten are not approved for hair growth.

Mr Cohen is currently shopping around to engage the services of a compounding pharmacist, or even a regular chemist, to assist him to procure such medications for his clients. The Prohibition Order prohibits Mr Cohen or IHRB from handling any prescriptions or medications, or having anything to do with them whatsoever.

Mr Cohen also purports to mix-in his own Indian Curries or Grape-seed extracts, and charges his clients a starting fee of $4,900 and on-sells the Minoxidil at 840% mark up, including his 15% Minoxidil at $900 for 100 ml. As you know, a pharmacist cannot supply to unlicensed people to on-sell or handle.

The HCCC Commissioner said that Mr Cohen of IHRB ‘endangered the health and safety of his clients.’ His whole operation is a medical malpractice, putting client’s lives at risk.

I write to warn you in case you are approached, lest he implicate you, like he implicated his previous Melbourne and Sydney pharmacists who are currently being investigated by AHPRA and The Pharmacy Board respectively. One of which was raided by the HCCC and is now owed $14,800 by Mr Cohen due to unpaid bills.

Additional information is available at

P.S. IHRB is the name of the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty run by Sam Cohen of 105 Pitt Street Sydney. It is also written as Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty or Institute of Hair Re-growth & Beauty.

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