Cohen makes second appearance in HCCC Annual Report

Cohen makes second appearance in HCCC Annual Report

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HCCC 2012-13 Annual Report featuring Sam Cohen of IHRBThe Health Care Complaints Commission has once again featured IHRB’s Mr Sam Cohen in its 2012-2013 Annual Report which it sent to the Minister for Health, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP. Mr Cohen’s name is mentioned on page 51 of the 138-page report.

The HCCC was highlighting the legal case against one of Sam Cohen’s pharmacists whose pharmacy was raided by Health Officials at the same time that Sam Cohen’s IHRB offices were raided by Police, resulting in the Commissioner slapping a Permanent Prohibition Order on Sam Cohen and IHRB.

In the case of the pharmacist’s role in the saga, the HCCC found it ‘repugnant’ that the pharmacist was adding Sam Cohen’s ‘unknown substances’ in Minoxidil. The pharmacist was struck off the Register.

Here is what the Commissioner’s Annual Report stated:

“At Mr Cohen’s request, Mr Fryar added to some of the medications (compounded preparations) a quantity of unknown substances that Mr Cohen provided to him referring to it as a ‘confidential hair regrowth formula’. Mr Fryar did not know or ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of these substances. The Tribunal found that adding unknown substances to compounded preparations was ‘repugnant’ to a pharmacist’s professional obligation to protect the community. The Tribunal found that Mr Fryar engaged in professional misconduct and cancelled his registration as a pharmacist for a minimum period of 18 months.”

This is the second time that Mr Cohen has been featured in HCCC’s Annual Report. You can read about the first instance if you click here.

The full text of the Case Study that is featured in the 2012-2014 HCCC Annual Report, is copied below, followed by a scan of page 51.

Dangerous supply of drugs

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted Mr Jonathan Fryar, a pharmacist, before the Pharmacy Tribunal of NSW. Mr Fryar admitted that he had supplied anabolic/androgenic steroids, benzodiazepines and human growth hormones outside recognised therapeutic standards. Some of these drugs were commonly abused for ‘body-building’ and creating greater muscle mass.

Mr Fryar’s pharmacy in Sydney supplied the drugs based on prescriptions that were issued by Dr Kelvin Wong, a registered medical practitioner, who practised nearby. The Commission prosecuted Dr Wong regarding his prescribing before the Medical Tribunal, which cancelled his registration in April 2010. The amounts of medication prescribed, their combinations and the frequency of dispensing were considerable.

Although Mr Fryar was aware that the patients he supplied with the steroid medications used them for body-building, he decided it would be safer for these patients to receive them from him rather than potentially obtaining unsafe drugs from the illicit market. The Tribunal rejected his reasoning and noted that it was a paramount legal responsibility of pharmacists to appropriately challenge prescribers of medications and indeed their patients, whenever the substances were being abused for non-approved uses. It was found to be all the more necessary for pharmacists to promptly intervene when such medications were known to be abused.

Mr Fryar also admitted that he had supplied scheduled drugs to patients in breach of the Poisons and Therapeutics Goods Act and Regulation as the result of an agreement between him and Mr Samuel Cohen of the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty (‘the Institute’), that was located close by. Mr Cohen did not have any relevant health qualifications and was not a registered health practitioner.

According to the agreement, Mr Fryar supplied Mr Cohen with various medications for clients of the Institute, although he did not have any direct contact with the clients. The Tribunal found that Mr Fryar supplied certain medications to Mr Cohen in bulk without a wholesaler’s licence, and supplied prescription-only medication without a prescription.

At Mr Cohen’s request, Mr Fryar added to some of the medications (compounded preparations) a quantity of unknown substances that Mr Cohen provided to him referring to it as a ‘confidential hair regrowth formula’. Mr Fryar did not know or ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of these substances. The Tribunal found that adding unknown substances to compounded preparations was ‘repugnant’ to a pharmacist’s professional obligation to protect the community. The Tribunal found that Mr Fryar engaged in professional misconduct and cancelled his registration as a pharmacist for a minimum period of 18 months.

Page 51 of the HCCC Annual Report features Sam Cohen of IHRB and his pharmacist.

Page 51 of the 2012-2013 HCCC Annual Report features Sam Cohen of IHRB and his pharmacist.

 

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