Sam Cohen was featured prominently in the 2011 Annual Rerport of the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC). The Report was presented to the Minister for Health, and it was tabled in Parliament.
Within a five-year period, the Commission received 16,533 complaints, of which 4,073 were handled in the period ending June 2011. One of the complaints resulted in an investigation into the practices of Mr Samuel Faraj Cohen and the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty.
Of the investigations that took place, seven were featured as remarkable case studies. One of those highlighted to The Hon Jillian Skinner MP, was that of Sam Cohen and IHRB. The case-study, which was featured on a dedicated full-page was headed, ‘Dangerous hair regrowth medication’. Here is what the report said:
‘The Commission investigated a self proclaimed hair regrowth specialist who had no formal health care qualifications, and who unlawfully possessed and supplied medication to his clients.
‘A number of clients of a hair regrowth business complained to the Commission that they suffered adverse side effects when taking medication for hair growth. The medication was supplied by Mr Sam Cohen, the owner and operator of the business, and is not approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for hair regrowth.
‘The Commission identified the pharmacist who supplied Mr Cohen with the medication and included the pharmacist in its investigation.
‘In a joint operation with NSW Police, the Commission executed a search warrant at the business premises where a large amount of prescription only medication was found, as well as a significant number of prescriptions.
‘As Mr Cohen possessed these medications unlawfully, the Commission issued an interim prohibition order banning him from possessing and supplying any medication or prescriptions while finalising its investigation.
‘The Commission then executed another search warrant at a pharmacy and found documentation and prescriptions that confirmed a business relationship between the pharmacy and Mr Cohen.
‘During the Commission’s investigation, the NSW Department of Health issued a public health warning about the risks of taking such medication for hair regrowth purposes.
‘After an extensive investigation, the Commission found that Mr Cohen had breached the Code of Conduct for unregistered practitioners as he was not providing health services in a safe and ethical manner.
‘The Commission made a permanent prohibition order banning Mr Cohen from possessing any client prescriptions and from obtaining, supplying or selling any medications. A public statement was made and published on the Commission’s website.’
The Commissioner Mr Kieran Pehm and the team at HCCC including Messrs Robbie Wilson and Tony Kofkin, did a great job at unravelling the clever, yet illegal, methods of Mr Sam Cohen. You can access a copy of the Annual Report from the HCCC website . It makes for fascinating reading, resulting in even greater admiration for the HCCC and the mountain of work that it handles across a range of sectors. If you read the Commission’s Permanent Prohibition Order  against IHRB, you will appreciate the meticulous detail into which HCCC investigators delved in order to protect the public. Information about the Police Raid is found here . Information about the second raid is located here .