Exorbitant prices

Exorbitant prices

Print This Post Print This Post

Consumers are tricked into long-term contracts which force them to purchase dubious products from IHRB at sky-high prices. In an article called ‘Think no evil of me’, it was demonstrated how Sam Cohen and IHRB trick consumers into a long-term contract. Here are some examples of their astronomical prices. At the same time, we find out that IHRB (which is not a pharmacy) and Sam Cohen (who is not a doctor) are selling prescription-only and pharmacy-only medications. Not only is this an offence on their part, but also illegal on the part of the pharmacist/s who supply some of the scheduled products to him. As for the non-scheduled products, they are not labelled correctly, and their place of manufacture is unknown. As to whether or not the manufacturers of these therapeutic goods are complying with other laws in relation to ‘manufacturing and supply’, we will find out in due course as I conclude my investigations.

The IHRB contract says, ‘…after the conclusion of the recommended period of your treatment program, you will require an ongoing maintenance usage of the hygiene products and pharmaceutical compound to maintain normal hair growth.’ Sam Cohen fails to tell us that it is more serious than maintaining normal hair growth. You see, generally, if hair starts to grow as a result of finasteride and/or minoxidil, and the user stops using these products, hair loss will start all over again. Sam fails to make this important warning. Nowhere does he advise customers about this reality. He tells people to come to him to grow their hair, and he admonishes his competitors for not disclosing certain facts, yet he fails to tell people that no matter what he grows for them, the hair loss will resume the moment they stop the medication. In all his extensive literature, he never makes this distinction.

The real sneaky meaning of his tricky clause above was explained in ‘Think no evil of me’. For now, we will look at how this ‘man in shining armour’ prices his products. Below is an extract from this price list.

I have filled in the red numbers to show what someone might need within a twelve month period. Apart from his program fees which start at $4900 (often discounted if people pay up front and haggle a bit) plus other medications in the first year, here is what it would cost for subsequent years, and perhaps for life, if mother nature smiles upon you, and if your body does not react badly to some of the medications that could lead to serious side effects including hair in places you did not want, and erectile disfunction. More about the hazards in another article. You could be up for $4210 each year (that’s if you are not asked to pay insurance on such a bulk order, unless you choose to place 12 orders, which will cost you another $165 in postage. If you are unlucky to need 10% minoxidil, I have shown the blue price of $8710 per year. Click here for the newer price list as at October 2010.

Let us examine the prices. I might stress here that I believe that retailers ought to charge whatever they like. I do not mind people placing a high price on their products and services. IHRB is entitled to sell at any price it likes, and I am not complaining that it is charging a lot. However, I bring this up here as a serious issues because in all of Sam’s literature, he bad-mouths every competitor for ripping people off. He keeps warning the world about the money-grabbing con-men out there. He keeps telling us to ‘be very wary’ of companies who are overcharging people. He keeps saying that he will act ‘honestly’. He is the one who wants us to believe that he is doing us all a favour. He keeps warning us not to fall into the clutches of the unscrupulous thieves. It is for these reasons that I am highlighting his unbelievably high price list.

Might I also add that where someone adds value, they can charge what they like, so long as the customer sees the value. This does not mean that we should trick the customer. We live in a market where some people will gladly pay $300 for running shoes, when a similar pair can be purchased at $30. Handbags range from $50 to $5000. Indeed, there is elasticity in a price where a customer clearly knows this. However, our market also has certain limitations. Chanel perfume at David Jones might be $100, but you would never pay $10,000 at the airport duty free for the same product. It’s just not the done thing. Let’s us examine a few of the products, and you can draw your own conclusion about Sam’s pricing policy and his sneaky methods.

Organic Shampoo 250 ml

The contents of his shampoo will be analysed in another article. For now, I can tell you that Sam never tells us anything about his shampoo. In conversations with me, all he could do was tell me that every other product on the market damages hair, while his shampoo is the only good product for hair. He never explains how or why. We will analyse the contents soon. At this stage, from my preliminary research, I would not be surprised if Sam had sourced the cheapest shampoo in bulk, filled it into simple plastic bottles with his name on it, and priced it at $20 per 250 ml.

The bottle omits to tell the user the country of manufacture, or who the manufacturer is. It does not have any poison information on it. It only lists the ingredients (common and simple ones) which will be outlined in another article. For now, having used the shampoo for twelve months, and after preliminary investigations about the chemical make-up, I am confident that the shampoo is just a cheap, run-of-the-mill shampoo. I an extremely doubtful that Sam and his suppliers would know any more about shampoo than Sunsilk, Palmolive, or Schwarzkopf. These companies have been in business for years. Many more years than IHRB. They have to produce shampoos at a certain price, and sell them at places like Woolworths who enjoy handsome mark-ups. So imagine the sales chain and the expenses associated with running these companies, and let us give them some credit for knowing how to make shampoos. If we are to be exceedingly kind to Sam, let us assume that he is on par with these hair-care giants. If we stretch our imagination for a second and assume that IHRB can produce a product as good as Schwarzkopf, then why is it that a search of Woolworths shows these three products:

I suspect that the IHRB shampoo is no better than the Natures Organics that comes to 41 cents per 100 ml. But let us give Sam the benefit of the doubt and say that he can rival Schwarzkopf's scientists. We see that the Liquid Silk Shampoo sells at $1.25 per 100 ml. So why does the IHRB shampoo sell at $8.00 per 100 ml? Over only one year, we can pay Sam $240, or these three companies, via a distributor and a retailer who each make handsome profits, not $240 per year, but $12.30 or $31.50 or $37.50 respectively. Over a ten-year period, all being equal, we could buy Natures Organics at $123 or Sam's at $2400. Wow, please explain the magic in that bottle?

5% Topical Solution

We are told that the IHRB topical solution contains special Indian Curries and herbs. Sam’s literature says, ‘A combination of prescription and non prescription medications, organic, herbal and other natural extracts.’ However, the bottles he gave me were compounded by a Melbourne pharmacist. The bottle makes no mention of the contents having any such Indian Curries. This is a mystery that will be unravelled soon for another article after our investigations are complete. Sam says, in writing, that the Topical Solution contains Retin-A, which the AMA says is bad news, and the law says is illegal when handed out to people like me without a prescription. Not to mention other labelling laws and codes of ethics and a range of irregularities that are yet to be distilled before I present them to you. So let us go at face value, and take the word of the pharmacist, who, on the bottle, says that the Topical Solution is 5% minoxidil. The label says, ‘Specially formulated according to I.H.R.B.’s specifications’. We do not know what those specifications are. However, we can presume that the pharmacist knows the rules and has done the right thing to place the correct label. Therefore, going by the label, this is 100 ml of Minoxidil. (By the way, I wrote to the pharmacist in Melbourne, and he confirmed that no such curries were ever used in Mr Cohen’s bottles.)

So now we look at the IHRB price list that shows 5% ‘Topical Solution’ at 100 ml to be $225 which will last one month. Let us consider that a reputable brand called Regaine, available over the counter from any pharmacy, at 5% minoxidil, called ‘Regaine Extra-Strength’ sells at my local pharmacy at $129.95 (and many other cheaper options available on the Internet), and the package says, FOUR MONTHS’ SUPPLY. So we can pay for a risky mysterious dubious bottle from IHRB, all under a cloud of darkness and perhaps irregularity and potential illegality (because Sam wrote to my GP saying that it contained Retin-A which should never have happened because I never had a prescription for this) and we can pay $225 for one month, or go to your local pharmacist and purchase four month’s worth of Regaine at $129.95. All things remaining static, and assuming no inflation for the next ten years, and assuming that one’s hair does not need any change in formulation, we are paying IHRB $27,000 (not counting postage) versus $3898.50 for Regaine (which we can pick up while shopping at the local pharmacy. If you shop on-line, you can find specials at $119.95 for four months, and every time I check, it gets cheaper.) So it’s $27,000 or $3898.50 for exactly the same product. On this product alone, you can save over $23,000 if you shop at your chemist. Is there nothing else towards which you can use that kind of money?

Saw Palmetto

IHRB sells Saw Palmetto in white containers that are formulated by his Melbourne pharmacist. The container does not mention anything about the contents, active ingredient, constituent parts, or the country of manufacture. The label just says, ‘Serenoa Repens (Saw Palmetto) Siberian Ginseng Complex 120 Tablets. Take one tablet twice daily with food/meal or as directed. Do not take on empty stomach as stomach upset may be experienced by some sensitive individuals. If the upset continues or worsens, STOP immediately & notify your health provider. May assist in maintaining healthy hair , general well being and found to be useful in praostatic enlargement and its prevention. Specially formulated according to I.H.R.B.’s specifications [batch # and expire date shown]. [The name & contact details of the pharmacist is shown]’

Dr Norman Swan, of ABC Radio’s ‘Health Minute’, quotes the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’ and says, ‘The love affair’s probably over because a well conducted, year-long trial of saw palmetto in men with moderate to severe prostate problems has found that it doesn’t work. Nothing they measured from symptoms to size and beyond was different from a placebo.’ You can read and listen to Dr Swan here.

Click on this link to download the New ‘England Journal of Medicine’ research document. On page one of the report, it says, ‘There was no significant difference between the saw palmetto and placebo groups… In this study, saw palmetto did not improve symptoms or objective measures…’

Anyway, a search on Google shows that there are many stores out there who sell Saw Palmetto at half the price. So we can spend $420 per year or $4200 over ten years, or half that amount. So we save $2100 here, $23,000 on the Minoxidil, and $2200 on the shampoo. That comes to $27,300 so far. And that’s not counting all the products on the list.

Mind you, in another article, I will outline other products that Sam Cohen asked my doctor to prescribe, six months into my program. Sam wanted Retin-A, Proscar, and Loniten. More on those later. So we can save $27,300, plus heaps more. But let’s keep this short and examine only one more and look at the price of Proscar.

Proscar

Sam sells 5 mg Proscar 30 tablets at $130. Yet my local pharmacy sells the exact ingredients by Sigma (Finnacar), a well known pharmaceutical company, at $79. Over ten years, that is a saving of $1275. Our savings are now at $28,575, not counting the Herbal Conditioner, Derma Clean, and Intense Protein Treatment (if any of them work, and if any of them are needed). I would also now count the $3700 that I stupidly paid for nothing more than heartache. Who needs IHRB to prescribe Minoxidil and finasteride? What a laugh. So that brings the savings to $32,275, at the very least. Imagine if we shopped around for good products from the US or the UK. There are some great bargains on line, from reputable suppliers. In my case, I not only wasted $3700 on a stupid program that supposedly came with a money back guarantee that never eventuated due to unethical conduct, but I have thus far wasted over $40,000 in getting this site up, and preparing my investigations. Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

In any case, Proscar is not approved by the TGA for the purposes to which Sam puts it. The active ingredient of Proscar is finasteride, and we know that only Propecia (not Proscar), which contains finasteride, is approved by the TGA. Propecia is approved. Proscar is not approved! However, in another article, I will explain the differences. The point is, according to the letter of the law, and the TGA, Proscar is not approved for hair loss. So the doctor would have to be brave enough to prescribe off-label. I have asked the authorities to tell me what that would mean in terms of the risks that the doctor is taking. Not to mention the fact that Retin-A has nothing to do with hair, and Loniten is another long story that also has nothing to do with hair loss or hair re-growth. It all becomes quite complex, which is why most people just do not take the time to find out the facts.

This is to say nothing about the fact that IHRB simply cannot be selling or on-selling Proscar. Sure, the client would have gone to the GP and obtained a prescription, and Sam Cohen would have taken that prescription and appointed himself as the agent. However, the pharmacist is breaking a few rules if the pharmacist does not meet the client and exercise the duty of care. This is another complex area which will be outlined soon after I receive official confirmation from several government authorities and other bodies with whom I have already spoken.

Why do you need IHRB?

If you know what you want to take, why do you need to pay IHRB to be in the middle? How can IHRB charge $350 for 7% Minoxidil when a compounding pharmacist, whom I called at random, said that he can sell it to me at around $80 depending on how many I purchase etc? He sells Proscar at $97, yet Mr Cohen wants $130. Goodness knows if Mr Cohen actually delivers the branded Proscar or if he substitutes it with something like Finnacar which is much cheaper still. If I were to order 3 bottles at a time, I could obtain a 10% discount. Don’t forget that going with IHRB requires an up-front payment of $4,900 if paid in instalments (or $3,700 in my case for being stupid and paying up front).

FacebookEmailPrintShare

Comments are closed.