Freedom of Mis-Information

Freedom of Mis-Information

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Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, I now have a copy of the 18-page letter that Mr Sam Cohen submitted to the Complaints Resolution Panel in response to the observations I made about IHRB’s advertising. This article reviews the answers that Mr Cohen had sent to the Panel via his solicitor.

First, we all know the punchline to this investigation: The Panel found IHRB in breach of so many Codes, that it issued Sanctions against IHRB for ‘unlawful, misleading, and unverified’ advertisements. You can read the full overview about the Sanctions if you click here.

Let’s go through each hair-raising untruth, and observe the unashamed way in which IHRB tries to mislead and deceive the authorities.

UNTRUTH 1

The accusation was that in 2006 the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) reviewed the advertisements and in January 2007 asked IHRB to withdraw the advertisements and representations. IHRB says, ‘This is incorrect. The CRP directed only the removal of references to proscar, which was done immediately.’ FACT: It baffles me why IHRB would dare lie about this, to the very people who issued the Sanctions in the first place. Why tell the CRP that it is incorrect? To see the full Determination of 2007, click here. Where does IHRB find the word ‘Proscar’ in the advertisement or the Determination? The complaint had nothing to do with Proscar. The Sanctions were written like this: The Panel requests the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty, in accordance with sub-regulation 42ZCAI(1) of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990:

a) to withdraw the advertisement from further publication;

b) to withdraw any representations that products other than those of the advertiser are ineffective, and any representations in the form of testimonials that are not typical;

c) not to use the representations in (b) above in any other advertisement unless Cat Media satisfies the Panel that the use of the representation would not result in a contravention of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 or the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code; and,

d) within 14 days of being notified of this request, to provide evidence to the Panel of its compliance, such as copies of instructions to advertising agents or publishers.

So as you can see, IHRB is whistling in the wind to say that item 5.1 was incorrect. Furthermore, IHRB says that it had ‘immediately’ removed the reference to Proscar. This is hogwash. Proscar was not the subject of the ad (which you can view at the bottom of this link) so what’s the strategy here?

UNTRUTHS 2 to 3

The accusation was that in January 2007, IHRB ignored the Sanctions. It simply did not obey the Sanctions. It kept on advertising and misleading people. IHRB says, ‘This is denied. Mr Cohen has no knowledge thereof.’ Now that’s funny. Mr Cohen has no knowledge that he ignored the Sanctions for 12 months? He was engaged in communications with the Panel. He responded to them. They found him in breach of the Code. They issued a Sanction and asked him to withdraw the ads, as you saw above. He did not obey a single instruction. Twelve months later, the Panel was so concerned about this snub, that it wrote to the Secretary for the Department of Health & Ageing in Canberra, and sent a copy to Mr Cohen. Here is the link that reports on the snub.

IHRB ads were sanctioned in January 2007. This ad and many like it continued to be published until 24 September 2008. That’s 22 months after the Sanctions!

Mr Cohen was asked to withdraw the ads. He says that he was asked to remove the word ‘Proscar’. That word never appeared in the ad nor in the determination nor in the communications with the Panel. So what’s that logic all about? Actually, it is so darn clever. Avoidance by distraction! Then his solicitor says that Mr Cohen has no knowledge of the fact that he ignored the Sanctions for twelve months. Well then, if that is the way to worm your way out of a sticky situation, then just never pay your taxes, and when you are before the Magistrate for not paying your taxes, just have your solicitor respond out of left field like, ‘When we were asked to adopt a dog, we did, and as for not paying taxes, our client has no knowledge thereof.’ That’s daft! Anyway, the Sanctions were issued. They were ignored completely and fully for 12 months. CRP sent another letter to IHRB and it also filed an official complaint to Canberra. (The Panel had written to IHRB to say, ‘The sponsor’s attention is drawn to the provisions of sub-regulations 42ZCAI(3) and (4) which permit the Panel to make recommendations to the Secretary in the event of non-compliance with this request.) Guess what happened next? IHRB ignored the second warning for another 10 months, so that’s a total of 22 months. One year and ten months… and the best that Mr Cohen can do is say that the accusation is incorrect and that he denies it!

UNTRUTHS 4 to 9

Let’s go to 5.3: That the CRP wrote to IHRB and the Dept of Health. Mr Cohen’s solicitor says, ‘Mr Cohen has no knowledge of any communications with the Dept of Health’. Ok, we can say the dog ate the letter. As for 5.4: That IHRB ignored the second warning for another 8 months. That, too, is ‘Denied’. We are told that, ‘Mr Cohen has no knowledge thereof’. How can Mr Cohen not know that he placed dozens of ads in many papers and magazines, including Chinese, Arabic, Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese publications? How can Sam Cohen not know when his ads are being published? He paid for them. As for 5.5: That ads were published in contravention of the sanctions. Again this is denied and yet again, the solicitor says, ‘Mr Cohen has no knowledge thereof’.

This would make a perfect Christmas gift. The ultimate time-saving device.

If that’s going to be the standard line to every crime and misdemeanour, then I guess you might as well make a rubber stamp to that effect, and just plead ignorance to everything. In 5.6: That there were extensive breaches via advertisements; how can this be denied? The Panel Sanctioned the ads in 2007 which, in 2011, were reviewed more closely and found to be in breach of 12 Sections of the Code and one Act! Breaches so bad that the CRP said rendered the ads ‘unlawful, misleading, and unverified.’ Deny it all you like! Breaches so serious that not only did the CRP ask that they be withdrawn, but that new ads of ‘apology’ be published in order to publicly retract the statements. The CRP wanted IHRB to publish retractions. It never did this, so IHRB just ignores the Sanctions and its obligations.

Then we move to 5.7: That there was non compliance with CRP letter of January 2007. We are told that, ‘Mr Cohen advises that there was prompt and full compliance with the CRP requirements at the time’. This is a lie. The excerpt from the ad shown above from ‘Central Magazine’ proves that the breaches and recalcitrance continued for 22 months after the letter of January 2007. Besides, after the 22 months, despite the slight modifications to the ad, extensive breaches continued, hence the 2011 Sanctions which, as at the time of writing this article, have been ignored for 263 days; and counting. So the first sanctions were ignored for 657 days, and breaches continued until the second Sanctions which have been ignored for 263 days; and counting. To keep an eye on the breach-counter, click here. If Mr Cohen complied promptly and fully, why did the Panel report IHRB to the Secretary for the Department of Health & Ageing in Canberra? Not once… but twice. The first in connection with the 2007 Sanctions, and the second in connection with the 2011 Sanctions, as you can read here in an article called, ‘Dragging IHRB to Canberra.

As for 5.8 relating to Mr Nader’s communications with newspapers, ‘Mr Cohen has no knowledge thereof‘. That’s strange, considering Mr Cohen had filed complaints about my contacting the newspapers. In fact, one of the magazines to which I wrote, had unprofessionally sent a copy of my email to Mr Cohen. He then sent a copy of that email to the Registrar at CTTT. So this is yet another lie. Just by way of a simple example of how this is a lie, consider that the letter obtained under Freedom of Information was signed 29 August 2011. How can Mr Cohen have no knowledge of my contacting magazines, when we see below that I had sent an email to Judy from NMags (a magazine in which IHRB had advertised extensively). Judy breached my confidential email and unprofessionally sent a copy of my email to Sam Cohen. A very bad thing to have done. Nonetheless, Sam Cohen received the copy on 5 July 2010, and then wrote a letter about it the next day, complaining to the Member at CTTT.  See below:

This email from me to Judy, was sent without my consent by Judy to Sam Cohen. So how can Sam Cohen say that he has no knowledge of my communications with newspapers? Also, the many articles on this website (which I know Mr Cohen reads and archives and complains about) reference my communications with newspapers including Murdoch’s News Limited.

 

The next day, Mr Cohen sends a letter of complaint about my contacting the newspapers. He writes to CTTT’s Registrar/Member and signs the letter. So how can he claim that he has no knowledge? Please Mr Cohen, enough already.

UNTRUTHS 10 to 20

Point 6, queries if IHRB is a sponsor insofar as it sells products that it has manufactured or arranged for another to manufacture. The word ‘sponsor’ means a company that manufactures products, or arranges for someone else to manufacture them. For example, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are both sponsors. Legally, this is a significant question. For this reason, IHRB tries to tell the CRP that it is not a sponsor. Let us review IHRB’s responses to point 6, which starts with an explanation that says, ‘Our client does not promise to regrow hair on bald heads. What he does offer is assistance in seeking to impact upon the conditions causing hair loss, the improvements of the scalp and improvement of dying hair into better texture.’ That statement is so misleading, that it is covered in a separate article which you can read here.

The contradictions in Point 6 are extremely gross. It would be no exaggeration to say that it would take ten pages of explanation to outline the irregularities if what IHRB describes. However, just to show you the mind-numbing indecency of IHRB’s attempt at misleading the authorities, I will keep it simple and point to the incongruence and contradictions within this document alone. I will spare you the comparisons with other documents which IHRB has tendered to the authorities. In this Point 6, which appears on Page 3 of the letter that Mr Cohen’s solicitor had signed, says, ‘If the doctor provides the prescription, it is sent to the IHRB’. However, on Page 8 of the same document, under Point 11.3, Mr Cohen and his solicitor say, ‘If the doctor issues a prescription, it gets sent by the doctor to the pharmacist who provides the products to the client’. So in Point 6 we are told that the doctor send the prescription to IHRB, while on Page 8 (Point 11.3) we are told that the doctor sends the prescription to the pharmacist. These are significant, well-planned, carefully strategies contradictions that try to avoid legal difficulties. Furthermore, in Point 6 we are told that, ‘IHRB asks the client to come in, whereupon the client is provided by the chemist’s items…’ whereas on page 9, we are told that ‘the pharmacist provides the product to the client’. It just zig-zags all over the place. IHRB can’t dare tell the truth, and it must lie depending on the question. Indeed, I could draw on many other documents that further contradict all of these statements. These are major lies that still do not address the question at hand: is IHRB a manufacturer? Before I get to that, we can also note that in Point 6, Mr Cohen’s solicitor says, ‘Our client is appointed as an agent…’ The word that comes to mind is baloney. Neither in my case or in those of the victims I have met, was IHRB ever appointed as an agent. This is just a silly, useless phrase that has no legal definition. It just sounds great and it has been used many times. The reason it keeps coming up, is that it is used to pull the wool over the eyes of the authorities. The other reason that it is frequently used by IHRB is that I have not yet had the time to expose the absurdity of that statement. In due course, I certainly will be dedicating an entire article about this claim that IHRB is supposedly appointed as an ‘agent’. So stay tuned for more on that pathetic excuse. For now, let’s go to the second-last bullet point which you can see in Point 6 which reads, ‘It will be apparent from the above that our client does not manufacture products and that such items as are provided by the chemist are provided according to a medical practitioner’s prescription.’

This is not true. IHRB says it has secret natural extracts. It says that it has a new exciting formula. It says that nothing else on the market works, and that only Sam Cohen’s special formulation works. The bottles that are sold to clients say, ‘Specially formulated according to IHRB’s specifications’.

These are just some of the labels on IHRB’s medications. The labels say that the formulations were made according to IHRB’s specifications and formulations. If that does not prove that IHRB is a manufacturer/sponsor, I’ll eat my hat. When you make a product, and insist that your product has exclusive secret natural extracts that no-one else in the world has, what does that make your bottle? It makes it your own. When you make and sell your own bottle, that makes you a sponsor/manufacturer. Yet Sam Cohen, via his solicitor, say that IHRB is not a sponsor.

 

As a final desperate attempt at misleading the Complaints Resolution Panel, Point 6 says, ‘Those labels which mention items being specifically formulated by our client refer to topical solutions which contain natural herbs and extracts, as acknowledged by the Health Care Complaints Commission’. This is so far fetched, that it is remarkable: it is the kind of sentence that will end up being framed on the wall of the IHRB-Story museum. The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) had, in its possession, medications that had those labels on them. They were scheduled medications which IHRB was never licensed to have, touch, dispense, or supply, or sell. To make sure that IHRB no longer endangers public health and safety, HCCC issued IHRB with Permanent Prohibition Orders. The double lie in the statement above first tries to say that the bottles which contain the labels are bottles which do not contain medications. It says that the labelled bottles are for herbal bottles. That is a double twist of a lie. HCCC and the Police raided IHRB and found hundreds of medications, and so the Police evidence clearly shows that those bottles were Scheduled medications, which had labels on them that said that they were formulated for IHRB. Dear oh dear oh dear. It is exhausting to chase these lies.

Then we are told that the statement above, made by IHRB and its solicitor, must be true because it was acknowledged by HCCC. Indeed, HCCC acknowledged something that was damning. To point to what HCCC acknowledged means that Mr Cohen is hanging himself. He is incriminating himself. But he uses that rouse in the hope that most people would not realise to what he is admitting. By saying that it was acknowledged by HCCC, he wants the CRP to think, ‘Oh what Mr Cohen is saying must be true, because HCCC says it’s true’. Whereas the truth is that HCCC discovered that IHRB was tampering with the prescription. HCCC’s Statement of Decision says in Para 6.20 that the ‘ingredients are over and above what has been written on the doctor’s prescriptions’. This is a slap in the face. It is a discovery that proved malpractice. It is a shocking revelation for which IHRB was slapped with a Permanent Prohibition Order! It proves that IHRB is a sponsor. It does tamper with a prescription. It changes the medications so that they become IHRB’s own formulation which puts public health and safety at risk. The HCCC Media Statement says, 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’. In the words of the Commissioner of HCCC, Mr Kieran Pehm, Mr Sam Cohen, ‘Endangered the health and safety of his clients by providing them with medications without adequate safeguards.’ So when Cohen tells CRP that something was acknowledged by HCCC, the only thing that was acknowledged was that IHRB is a danger to society. Furthermore, of the 4,073 complaints received by HCCC in 2011, IHRB was singled-out as a case worthy of a full page in HCCC’s Annual Report. So what does that acknowledge?

As to further prove that Point 6 is a lie, here is a snapshot from a statement on IHRB’s own website, wherein Sam Cohen admits to adding his own extracts to the topical solution. So dear reader, if someone adds secret extracts to a medication, or even to non-medical products, and claims that such a formulation (medical or herbal) can re-grow hair, it makes it a therapeutic product. It makes it his own products. It makes Sam Cohen and IHRB a sponsor. So why is Mr Cohen telling the CRP that IHRB is not a sponsor? The answer is: If he admits that IHRB is a sponsor, Mr Cohen would be in deeper and hotter water.

From Page 4 referring to Point 7.1.

By the way, knowing Mr Cohen as I do, I can guess how he would respond. He’s likely to say two things, depending on who is asking. If the authorities ask, he’s likely to say, ‘All the topical solutions are made by my chemist. The medical and non-medical formulations are made by my chemist and sent to the client.’ Actually, I just finished typing this and noticed that this is exactly what was claimed in the document on Page 4. An extract is provided here at top-right. It says, ‘Both the non-prescription items and those which require a prescription are manufactured by the compounding chemist’. This would be strange because the three pharmacists who have been involved with IHRB have confirmed that they never inject anything (over and above the prescription) that has any therapeutic effect or any active ingredient that pertains to hair loss or hair growth. The last pharmacist to hold-out and keep-mum about this was Elias Juanas of Elias Pharmacy who eventually was forced to respond to a Summons. He cracked his silence and had to admit that he never injected anything from Sam Cohen’s phantom extracts. Mr Elias goes one damning step further by saying that he never makes any formulations that do not contain Minoxidil, which means that he does not make the supposedly non-Scheduled topical solutions. You can read more about Mr Elias Juana’s return of Summons if you click here.

If a client asks who injects the secret extracts, Mr Cohen says that he injects the herbal solution himself. Mr Cohen knows that he is not permitted to make certain claims, so he gets his clients to say them for him. Here is one example from a Mr Sam (Samir) Singh who provides a testimonial in which he says, ‘Sam Cohens (sic) blend of minoxidil and his secret 12 natural extracts has been the best formula…’ The testimonial says that Minoxidil is the only scientifically and medically proven solution. However, Mr Cohen is prohibited by the HCCC to supply or sell Minoxidil.  So how is this testimonial possible? It was published 12 August 2011, being well after HCCC issued Permanent Prohibition Orders which say that IHRB must not supply or sell medications. In a different email, Mr Cohen says that he does not use Minoxidil. Oh my, it is a wheel within a wheel. No two statements EVER match up. When Mr Cohen is challenged about comments made via testimonials (which the CRP found to be unverified and in breach of the Code), he says that he cannot be held responsible for what other people say about him. The CRP did not buy that excuse. They said that any statement made via testimonials is as if IHRB made the statement. So IHRB is saying that Minoxidil is the only thing that works. That is true enough. But he is PROHIBITED from touching it OR selling it OR supplying it, so how and why is he still in business? When confronted with this, he says that he has a non-medical solution that he goes out and buys from the local hairdresser — a product called Activance. So he buys a general product from the retail shelf, and opens it up, puts his secret extracts in it, and on-sells it. For a year’s supply, any consumer can go to a hairdresser and pay $252 for this product (which is neither Listed nor Registered with the TGA because it is not a therapeutic product (because it does NOT grow hair)). So a year’s supply is $252 from your hairdresser, yet, from IHRB it will cost you $12,319. You can read about the amazing admission about Activance, if you click here.

Before we move away from Point 6, I note that Mr Cohen tells the CRP that his procedure is the same as used by Ashley & Martin. He then asks if similar action is being taken against his competitor. Mr Cohen has tried to blow the whistle on his competitors. It is alleged that he even tried to complain about Ashley & Martin using someone else’s identity. Mr Cohen used to work at Ashley & Martin. After the old Ashley & Martin called-in the Administrators, the new Board did not invite Mr Cohen back to work with them. Since then, Mr Cohen has been trying to put the boot in, at every opportunity. Here, in an investigation about his own misleading and deceptive advertising, he makes a swipe at Ashley & Martin. Sadly, he is mistaken. His procedure is not the same as his competitor’s and former employer. Ashley & Martin employs doctors. One of its owners is a doctor. Sam Cohen has no qualifications whatsoever, despite lying to the Tribunal about his qualifications, and despite trying to mislead the investigators at NSW Fair Trading. After they prosecuted Mr Cohen for lying to the Tribunal, the Commissioner Mr Rod Stowe called Mr Cohen’s lies and deceptions ‘reprehensible’.

UNTRUTHS 21 to 34

At Point 7, the question turns to whether or not IHRB provides a product or a service. In the letter to the Complaints resolution Panel (CRP), Mr Cohen’s solicitor says, ‘Our client agrees with the hostile comment by Mr Nader that IHRB is providing a service’. I am not sure what is hostile about that, but the solicitor continues, ‘Some hygiene products are sold as part of that service’. Okay, let’s back it up. Here is a direct accusation under 7.1 where I write to the CRP and say that IHRB tries to confuse the authorities by claiming to be only a service. I am advising the CRP of this tactic because I had noticed that IHRB had pulled that stunt several time, and more specifically it tried to mislead the CRP in 2006, which lead to the first Sanctions of 2007. In response to the accusation that IHRB misleads the authorities by confusing them about whether or not IHRB is a product or a service, the solicitor says that IHRB is providing a service. So there we have their claim. Their statement. Their admission. THEN WITH THE NEXT SENTENCE they contradict what they just said, which is exactly my point, and why this matter was raised. The very next sentence from the solicitor says, ‘Some hygiene products are sold as part of that service’. So is IHRB a company that sells products or services? This is a significant point, about which they try to mislead the authorities. The hygiene products are exorbitant shampoos which you can read about if you click here.

If IHRB says it does not sell products, how does it explain this IHRB price list that proves that it does sell heaps of products at exorbitant prices. That Topical Solution listed above at $900 is available from any compounding pharmacy at $70.

We are then told, ‘Both the non-prescription items and those which require a prescription are manufactured by the compounding chemist’. That statement was made on 29 August 2011, which was a long time after the first compounding chemist dumped IHRB (being owed money by IHRB). So Mr Cohen moved to the second chemist whose pharmacy was raided by the officials. This triggered a full investigation by the Health Care Complaints Commission, which had decided to prosecute the second pharmacist (who had to sue Sam Cohen to pay his invoices). So we are left with the third pharmacist at Fairfield, Elias Pharmacy, whose Mr Roberto Mamblona responded to a Summons 18 June 2012 in which he writes that Elias Pharmacy does not compound any non-medical topical solutions. Which means that all Topical Solutions contain Minoxidil. Which means that the statement by IHRB to the CRP that both the non-prescription items and those which require a prescription are manufactured by the compounding chemist seem to be at odds with what Elias Pharmacy has said. So, one of the parties is lying or there is a fourth pharmacist, about whom we do not yet know. Either way, it does not matter, because IHRB does sell products. It was caught selling products on camera by a client who complained to the Health Care Complaints Commission. The video footage along with an audio recording shows that Mr Sam Cohen did sell Schedule 4 medications to a client without a prescription (it would have been illegal even if the client had a prescription). When Mr Cohen was being interviewed by the HCCC Commissioner (Mr Kieran Pehm) about this sale, Mr Cohen denied it. When a receipt for the sale was shown, Mr Cohen said it was a receipt for shampoos. When the Commissioner then showed Mr Cohen the very product that was the subject of the investigation, Mr Cohen said oh, yes the client stole this from his office. The video footage shows the sale taking place. However, for Mr Cohen to say that a client could steal a product from his office, means that Mr Cohen does keep products in his office. He might then say that the products were there for another client to pick up. That would not do, simply because the product that Mr Cohen sold to the client had no name on it. If a product was awaiting collection, it would have had a pharmacy label on it (it did not) and the pharmacist would have stuck the label containing the name of the patient on it (which did not exist). Furthermore, the Police raid found hundreds of doses of medications (without labels) and dozens of super dangerous non-approved medications (without patient names/labels).

Letter from HCCC Commissioner Mr Kieran Pehm to Jonar Nader regarding Sam Cohen and IHRB.

The final sentence in Point 7.1 says, ‘Each prescription for each client is individually filled’. What does that mean? Why say it? There is a reason. Sadly, the Health Care Complaints Commission found that IHRB hoards prescriptions. Mr Cohen keeps some prescriptions (un-used and un-filled) for up to six months, while using older prescriptions to supply clients at random (selling medications to people who do not have a prescription of their own). HCCC found that some prescriptions were in IHRB’s files, and were never used, meaning that if there was a prescription for John Smith, he would have received his medications, but his prescription was never used/dispensed. He would have been sold medications supplied from stock. The prescription for John Smith might be used six month later when Mr Cohen needed new stock. HCCC found that prescriptions for ‘1’ product were changed to say ’12’ products or ’16’ products. That would explain why IHRB had so much stock, as found to be the case after the Police raid! Of course, Mr Cohen denied it all. The funny bit was that during the raid, there was a package sitting at the reception desk, ready to be sent to the client. The Police opened that bag and found that the medications inside were for a Mr X, whereas the postage label on the outside was for a Mr Y. How did Mr Cohen explain this? He said it was an error. Anyway, as always, I could write thousands of words about this matter, because there are so many issues to uncover. For now, let’s end this point with a statement from the Health Care Complaints Commission which said, that Mr Cohen has been selling medications, illegally, using prescriptions willy-nilly from one client to supply another client (which amounts to hoarding products to sell to unsuspecting clients like me who walked into his office, paid thousands of dollars, and walked out with medications, believing them to be herbal (and later finding out the hard way that they were dangerous medications that caused pain and suffering). Commissioner Kieran Pehm’s letter also says that after the six-month investigation, that Mr Cohen ‘Maintained bulk supplies of medications for dispensing to clients’. With that, can we now put Point 7.1 to rest? I think so, me ‘Lord.

Point 7.2 says that IHRB’s advertisements reference herbal and natural extracts. IHRB’s response to the CRP is that, ‘Such items are added by the compounding chemist’. How can that be? The first pharmacist says that he never ever added any such extracts. He said that he is willing to go to any court or tribunal to testify that he never added any of Sam Cohen’s. The second pharmacist sad that Mr Cohen asked him to add grape-seed extract, and that this had no therapeutic effect and no active ingredients, and that it caused Minoxidil to crystallise, causing the bottles to become useless. This second pharmacist said that he only tried this concoction for one month, and stopped using it because he found it useless and problematic, and it caused problems. The third pharmacist, Elias Pharmacy, said that it never ever added any thing like that to the topical solutions. Elias also said, via a Summons, that not only did not never add anything from Sam Cohen, but also it never compounded any topical solution that was of a non-medical non-Minoxidil nature. So if it is not the three chemists we all know about, are there other chemists who are compounding for IHRB, and who would care (or dare) stick their neck out and admit that they have been tampering with prescriptions by adding untested phantom products given to them by an unlicensed man who is claiming that his solutions are exclusive, secret, and therapeutic?

At 7.3 we are told, ‘Whilst IHRB charges for the items, the items are made up by the compounding chemist and provided to IHRB by the chemist according to the prescription. IHRB then charges the client’. Of the hundreds of prescriptions confiscated by the Health Care Complaints Commission during the Police Raid, not a single one of them is from a doctor who prescribed anything other than the basic medications such as Minoxidil, Retin-A, Proscar (Finasteride), and Loniten. Not a single prescription asks for any herbal secret ‘Indian Curries’ to be added. So if we are talking about compounding according to the ‘prescription’, then we know that no prescription calls for these phantom Indian Curries. So how do they get inside the bottle? If they exist, then someone is tampering with medications. If they exist, it is illegal to include them. It is dangerous. They need to have been approved by the TGA. Which pharmacist dares to just add therapeutic concoctions (that have no clinical trials) to medications that have been known to cause ‘sudden death’, which Mr Cohen recommends to be taken with other dangerous medications that could cause heart failure? Then we are told that IHRB charges the client. So does that make IHRB a reseller of medications? Yes. Does that mean that IHRB sells products? Yes. It buys the products at a few dollars from the chemist, and sells them at hundreds of dollars while making exorbitant profits. A $70 product is sold at $900. Does that make IHRB a retailer of medications? Yes. Is that illegal? Yes.

UNTRUTH 35

Point 8 accuses IHRB of not seeking the proper approvals for its advertisements. Mr Cohen’s solicitor says, ‘…this is not a matter within the responsibility of our client’. How wrong he is. The CRP did not accept that lame excuse. Of course IHRB is responsible. It’s the law! And pleading ignorance can’t work because the CRP had, in 2007, alerted IHRB to its responsibilities.

Back then, on Page-4 of the Sanctions document of 2007, CRP said TWO things about this very matter. The first included Paragraph 21 which stated, ‘The Panel noted, without making a finding, that the advertisement appeared to be in breach of section 42C of the Therapeutic Goods Act in that the advertisement did not display an approval number and appeared not to have been approved before publication; and in breach of section 6(3) as none of the required statements were included in the advertisement.’ The second thing that the CRP said was presented to IHRB in the form of Sanctions. Paragraph 22 c) wherein the CRP requested ‘…the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty, in accordance with sub-regulation 42ZCAI(1) of the Therapeutic Goods Regulation 1990: not to use the representations in (b) above in any other advertisement unless Cat Media satisfies the Panel that the use of the representation would not result in a contravention of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 or the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code…’ So despite the mention and despite the clear Sanctions that specifically inform IHRB that it must seek advertising approvals, the solicitor just asserts that such a regulation is not a matter within the responsibility of his client. On which planet do these people live?

UNTRUTH 36

On the matter of 9.1: that IHRB has never conducted any clinical trials, the solicitor says, on behalf of his client: ‘Use of the products is standard within the industry, including use by Ashley & Martin and Advanced hair Studio. The providers of the subject products and ingredients have the requisite clinic (sic) trial results and relevant data.’ More hogwash than this is not possible within the 26 letters of the English alphabet. What rot. Every advertisement from IHRB claims secret and exclusive extracts. Not one or two of them, but 13 extracts, being secret and exclusive. It is these extracts that we are asking about. These phantom extracts that no pharmacist has seen or used. It is these extracts that have never been clinically proven. So when asked about them, and their efficacy, IHRB tells the CRP that the products are standard within the industry. How can they be standard, when IHRB claims that they are secret and exclusive? And if now IHRB is admitting that the products it uses and sells at exorbitant fees (which it sells illegally while having always been unlicensed to sell, and which it is now Prohibited from selling) are just standard products, then how does it justify selling $12 and $15 standard products at $225 after a client pays $4,900 for the privilege of shaking hands with Mr Cohen? Then we are told that the providers of the products do have the requisite clinical trials? We are not talking about those products. No Sir! For example, Regaine/Rogaine are only approved up to 5%. The manufacturers spent years and years and millions of dollars to reach a point where they convinced the FDA and the TGA that 5% was the safe level. The clinical trials that such companies have conducted are for 5% Minoxidil. Yet Sam Cohen sells up to 17% Minoxidil with the non-approved Retin-A. And Sam Cohen says that he adds 13 secret extracts to it. Gosh, just one single additional extract, added to any chemical formula, could render the whole medication either useless or dangerous. One addition can ruin a whole formulation, and goodness knows what he is adding and what that can do to a human, especially when we are talking about products that have caused all sorts of problems for some clients, including a client of IHRB who had an out-of-court settlement with IHRB because that client almost died, as you can read here. How can IHRB say that the providers of the products have those clinical results on file? IHRB claims that it is the inventor of the secret ingredients. Have they been tested? No! IHRB was asked to tell us what clinical trials it has conducted. The truthful answer would have been ‘none,’ Instead, the submission to the CRP is deceptive and misleading and irrelevant and typical of utter hogwash, aiming to fluff up a whole lot of lies that avoid answering the question.

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Point 9.2 accuses IHRB of using non-approved, dangerous products. The submission says, ‘The products are not identified.’ Oh really? Just look at the list of the items seized by NSW Police after their raid. Look at the list which HCCC noted in its Statement of Decision. The products were confiscated and catalogued and they included high concentration Minoxidil which neither the TGA nor the FDA approved. They can be compounded for clients, but cannot be made in bulk. IHRB had dozens of medications in bulk, without client names on them.

Extract from HCCC’s Statement of Decision against IHRB, dated 22 Feb 2011.

The Police also found Proscar, which is NOT approved for hair growth. Loniten was also confiscated. They did not have client labels on them. Loniten is not only NOT approved, it is SPECIFICALLY not approved, which means that the manufacturer of Loniten specifically says that this product is not to be used for hair growth. A pencil is not approved for hair growth. But a pencil that says, DO NOT USE THIS FOR HAIR GROWTH must be a special pencil indeed, that it should come with such a warning! So when Point 9.2 accuses IHRB of using non-approved and dangerous products, how can IHRB say that the products were not identified? They were found, confiscated, catalogues, photographed, filmed, noted, examined, cross-referenced, cross-checked with the pharmacist (who is now being prosecuted by HCCC) and double-checked with a range of doctors whose 117 prescriptions were found during the raid. Mr Cohen’s solicitor also writes, ‘Our clients deny that that (sic) any non-approved, dangerous products are used.’ How can Sam Cohen deny what the Police and Health Officials found in his office? How can he deny it when a six-month investigation found him guilty of it! One of the ten or so police officers who raided his office was carrying a camera to film the raid so that Sam Cohen cannot deny what was found. We know what was found. HCCC’s Commissioner and his senior investigators have staked their reputation on what was found. A secret recording by a client proves that Loniten and super-high-strength Minoxidil was sold from the premises. How do I know what I know? I spent almost a full year trying to get my hands on the inventory-list of what the Police found when it raided IHRB’s Pitt Street office. At first, the Police Access Unit would not release the information. After a range of appeals, that involved the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, and several people at NSW Police (including the Police Commissioner’s office) I was able to learn the facts. Mind you, I already knew the real facts from the perspective of a former client. I know what Mr Cohen said to me, and what he sold to me (illegally). But Mr Cohen keeps saying that I am lying. So we can ignore what I say, and just go by what HCCC, the CRP, NSW Fair Trading, NSW Police, the Office of Information Commissioner, and the TGA have discovered after extensive investigations by dedicated investigators.

After almost 12 months of legal arguments and submissions, the Manager of the NSW Police Information Access and Subpoena Unit reviewed my complaint and finally released the documents to me, which enabled me to read the full Police Report into what happened, when it happened, what was found at IHRB and what was seized from IHRB’s office, including Police notes and regular computer updates. Nothing was redacted (held back), which meant that I was able to remain informed about what went on. So Dear Reader, when I protest about Mr Cohen’s lies, I do it with the full knowledge of the facts, which I obtain even if it takes hundreds of pages, dozens of letters, and 12 months of frustrating work. I am determined to deal in facts. There is no other way to combat lies. Indeed, I am indebted to the fine people at NSW Police, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal, and the Office of the Information Commissioner for their kind assistance. Through their efforts, I was able to get my hands on the documents. Hence, I am able to spot the lies.

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Point 9.3 says that verification was gathered by the HCCC after a police raid on IHRB. As you can read, this was denied. IHRB is denying that HCCC and the Police found hundreds of doses of medication, stocked and sold illegally. Medications which are not approved, dangerous, and not recommended for hair growth. How can IHRB deny what was found? On what basis does IHRB think HCCC formulated its conclusions, after a six-month investigation? Then the solicitor says in the letter, ‘Our client requests that you communicate with the HCCC [name of contact provided] to confirm that a notation was to be placed on the IHRB website that the ads are subject to a HCCC prohibition order not to issue prescriptions or to supply bottles with Minoxidil’. There is an old expression, ‘I talk from the east, he responds from the west’. That means that this statement from the solicitor has zero to do with the question. It just is guff and fluff to pretend that the question has been answered. Lots more like that, and anyone reading the report would be forgiven if their eyes were to glaze-over. Anyway, given that the solicitor mentioned ‘notation’, be it known that IHRB continued to breach those Orders, and on many occasions, notations were NOT made. The few times that the notation was made, all that was published was the line, ‘Subject to HCCC’s Permanent Prohibition Order’. The notation never did explain, as is required, the ‘terms’ of the Order! You can follow this story if you click here, and note that IHRB removed the warning from its website soon after it was placed there. Only last week did IHRB re-instate the warning, which is pathetic anyway, because that line at the bottom of the page simply does not warn anyone about anything. If you require additional proof that IHRB continues to breach both HCCC Orders and CRP Sanctions, here is an ad (in Chinese) that breaches BOTH. And if you want more evidence of the breaches, check this out. How about one more for the road?

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Point 9.4 was that the ads and the bottles do not disclose the main ingredients. In response, we are told that, ‘The bottles do make such disclosures’. Words are cheap. How can IHRB say this, when they clearly do not. The only ingredient that any bottle ever stated was the presence of Minoxidil and sometimes Retin-A (retinoic acid). No other ingredient was ever listed.

IHRB’s new bottles are totally blank. Not a word. Not a mark.

Furthermore, the patient information sheets were never given to the clients. IHRB made up its own information sheets that did not disclose the ingredients. If it had, clients would have realised that IHRB’s shampoo conflicts with the compounding pharmacist’s warnings. Here is the story about that malpractice. In fact, IHRB never provided the necessary warnings about Minoxidil, which should have included a warning that Minoxidil could cause you to LOSE your hair! After the Police raid, IHRB started using the services of Elias Pharmacy who started to misbehave and deliver very strange labels that did not comply with the requirements. Soon after, Mr Sam Cohen started to sell his bottles completely and totally blank. When he was informed that this is illegal, Mr Cohen said that the bottles do not contain Minoxidil. The bottles have been sent for lab testing, and I shall publish the results in due course. In any case, selling therapeutic products at exorbitant prices without labelling the bottles, is not permitted, considering that Mr Cohen is claiming that they contain 13 secret and exclusive therapeutic extracts. If the Minoxidil is found, that would be a criminal offence. If it is not found, then his clients have to ask what they are paying for? Okay so let’s return to Point 9.4: how can IHRB say that the bottles do disclose the ingredients? As you can see in this photo, a 100% blank bottle makes no disclosures whatsoever!

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Point 9.5 accuses IHRB that the natural extracts and herbal preparations contain no therapeutic effect. Mr Cohen promotes his 13 Indian Curries. He says they are herbal. He claims that they are the best in the world. That they are exclusive. And that they are secret. He says that without them being added to Minoxidil, the Minoxidil would not be so effect that he is able to be so confident to offer a money-back guarantee. He said to me in an email that if regular medications on the market do work, why would so many doctors and priests and footballers use his products? He also said that if the other products had worked, why does he have thousands of clients to stop using those products and turn to him? So these 13 secret extracts are claimed to be the secret ingredients that make hair grow. This means that they have a therapeutic effect. I am claiming that they do not exist, because he has never proved that they exist. Three of his pharmacists have said that they do not exist. So the Complaints Resolution Panel asked Mr Cohen to prove that they exist. What was the response? The solicitor wrote, ‘Denied. refer comment at 9.8 below.’ It was denied. So this means that IHRB is saying that it s herbal preparations do contain a therapeutic effect. Can he prove it? No, because it is impossible to prove that an ingredient works, especially when the ingredient does not exist! And the solicitor then refers the CRP to comment 9.8. So they dodge the question. They do not answer the question. They deny the accusation, and they defer to point 9.8. However, what happens when we go to Point 9.8? NOTHING MATE. Nothing! 9.8 does not answer the question. This is called ducking and weaving. Also, his second pharmacist was the only pharmacist to try the grape-seed extract that Sam Cohen called a ‘Chardonnay’. That pharmacist said that the ingredients had no therapeutic effect and no active ingredients, and that they would have been worth around a dollar, and that they caused problems with the Minoxidil and rendered the bottles useless, so he stopped using that formulation after one month.

Here is an email from Sam Cohen saying that his formulation is the best. He also says that Loniten is Minoxidil, which is such a dangerous thing to say. Loniten is a tablet. Minoxidil for the hair is a topical solution that goes on top of the scalp. The difference between a medication by mouth and a medication on the scalp is like the difference between applying nail-polish remover on your nails, and drinking the acetone! Also, Loniten is specifically and expressly and definitely NOT to be used for hair growth. The product warnings say so. It is a super serious dangerous drug! As for it being approved by the FDA and the TGA. This is wrong. A lie. Dangerous advice. Irresponsible! No wonder HCCC slapped IHRB and Sam Cohen with a Permanent Prohibition Order! He is a danger to society.

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Point 9.6 says that the labelling on the bottles does not meet the required standards. In response, the solicitor, with all his legal training, says, ‘If there is no compliance with required standards of labelling, then this is something that rests with the medical practitioners and the compounding chemists. It is not our client’s responsibility to label bottles.’ Sadly, this is misguided. Sam Cohen had admitted to HCCC investigators that he stocks bottles that are unlabelled, and when asked why, he says that he puts the labels on later, to offer some privacy to clients, so that if anyone walks into his office and sees the bottles, they do not see the name of the person to whom the bottles belong.

Sam Cohen writes to CTTT on 8 June 2011 and admits to sloppy handling of medications, and then makes light of it. He often says that anyone can buy Minoxidil. Yes, but not with Retin-A. Not with his phantom 13 secret curries. Not from an unlicensed person like Sam Cohen. Indeed, people can easily purchase alcohol and cigarettes, but if an unlicensed person tries to sell these products, they would have the police knocking on their door. Sam Cohen is NOT permitted to handle medications. He was never permitted. He is not right-royally Prohibited — and for very good reasons.

The Commissioner of the Health Care Complaints Commission, Mr Kieran Pehm, said that Mr Cohen’s evidence was self-serving and unreliable. That’s an official way of saying that Mr Cohen cannot be trusted and that he lies. Mr Cohen is quick to pick and choose sentences from the HCCC Statement of Decision. Yet, he fails to tell the authorities and his clients that there were other bits in the HCCC document that say that Sam Cohen’s evidence cannot be trusted.

At another time, he admitted to not labelling the bottles because he claimed that he had crystallisation issues, and wanted to wait a while before he labels the bottles to see if they are going to be used or rejected. In a letter to CTTT, Mr Cohen admitted that he mixes the bottles up, and gives Bottles A to Client B, and Bottle B to Client A. He saw nothing wrong with that. Diabolical! Here, in the submission to the CRP, IHRB is pointing the finger at the chemist and the doctor. Typical. Sam Cohen takes all the risks, breaks the laws, breaks the codes, operates while unlicensed, misleads clients, misleads doctors, and then has the temerity to say that the medical people are to blame. First, the medical people are indeed foolish to have anything to do with Sam Cohen and IHRB. The first pharmacist was investigated by AHPRA. The second pharmacist was raided by Health Officials, and now, after a two year investigation, is being prosecuted by HCCC. Nonetheless, HCCC spent six months trying to unravel the scheme. Why did it take six months? Because it is one long, twisted, curvy, obscure, diabolical scheme that IHRB runs, and it took ages to unravel the mess. The senior investigators at HCCC finally concluded that it was Mr Cohen who was breaking the law. Mr Cohen can point the finger all he likes, but it was he who was found to be endangering the health and safety of his clients. He was found to be illegally selling medications, including dangerous non-approved and non-recommended medications! As for bottles being labelled: I speak from experience as a former client who knows that I was given bottles whose labels were peeled off! And then other victims started to share similar stories about their labels. The client who complaint to HCCC that his head was filled with pimples that were filled with blood, and who had to go to hospital as a result of Sam Cohen’s medications and malpractice, purchased medications that had no labels on them whatsoever. He took his camera-phone and recorded the transaction, which Mr Cohen looked the HCCC Commissioner in the eye and denied ever making the sale despite the camera footage.

John Gullotta and Marie bashir

Associate Professor John Gullotta with Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO

In 2005, the then NSW President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr John Gullotta was quoted in a magazine called ‘Australia Doctor’, saying that what IHRB was doing was ‘Absolutely disgraceful’. Dr Gullotta added, ‘What they’re doing is making themselves not responsible but putting the blame on a third party’. You can read that article if you click here. Sam Cohen is quick to blame the doctors, as explained in this link, Yet, he is the one who withholds the information sheets and substitutes his own sheets. He is the one who arranges for his company name to be placed on the bottles, while leading clients to think they are his bottles, which means they are his products, which means he is the man directing the medications and the dosages, as explained in this article. Indeed, he changed my dosages and that of others. Thanks to his malpractice, I lost more hair than ever before, and suffered painful rashes on my scalp and body. You can see photos of my scalp here. As for labelling being the responsibility of the pharmacists, what does Sam Cohen have to say about the bottles that he now sells that are 10% blank! Not a word on them! How can a 100% blank bottle be the fault of the pharmacist? If the pharmacists is an idiot, can Sam Cohen just wash his hands of the whole affair? He is prohibited from touching medications anyway, so label or no label, what’s he doing selling medications?

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Point 9.7 says that the possible side-effects are never disclosed anywhere. Sam Cohen’s solicitor says, ‘The possible side-effects of medications are disclosed verbally and in a written document given to the client at the time that the recommended program is described to the client.’ I was a client, and I know what I was given and not given. I speak with many former clients who each tell me the same consistent story: none of us was given any of the medical warnings. We were all told that the whole program is herbal. Then we are given bottles that say, ‘Specially formulated according to IHRB’s specifications’. We still have no idea until we suffer terrible rashes. One client almost died.Do any of IHRB’s male clients know, or are told that they could develop male breasts which could lead to breast cancer? Neither I nor any of the victims I’ve spoken with were ever told that a side-effect to the IHRB topical solution includes hair loss! The paper to which IHRB is referring simply says if you develop a rash, contact us. No warnings were given. When I told Sam Cohen about my doctors refusing to prescribe as per his wishes, Mr Cohen told me to ditch my doctors. None of us was informed about the side-effects to Minoxidil, which you can learn about if you click here. Sam Cohen uses Retin-A, which the Health Department warns against. He never told us what the side effects to Retin-A could be. When asked about it, he misinforms clients by saying that Retin-A is nothing more than Vitamin A, and this is gross negligence. The side-effects to Retinoic Acid are shown here.

Anyway, the real problem with this response in Point 9.7 is that Sam Cohen is admitting that he does give people verbal advice and written documents, which means that he does act as a medical adviser. Which means that he can no longer blame the doctors and chemists. Notice that in previous Point above, he points the finger at the doctors and chemists. Here, he is admitting that he is acting as a medical practitioner. He has fallen in the trap. This was like a trick question. He has just admitted that he does act as a medical adviser. By saying that he discloses side-effects verbally and in writing (even though he does an appalling job at it) Sam Cohen is admitting that he is the one who sells, advises, meets the clients, and controls the show. This aspect of the malpractice is explained here.

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Point 9.8 looks at the accusation that the shampoos and herbal tablets are just money spinner to lock customers into tricky contracts. Of course, IHRB denied this, and the solicitor added, ‘Our client has thousands of satisfied customers and at least 65 testimonials, including satisfactory and satisfied comments from doctors, a medical centre, a priest and numerous professional and non-professional people.’ This is rubbish. But more importantly, this does not answer the accusation. So let’s start with the rubbish, and then delve into the accusation. Indeed, I know that IHRB has clients who are satisfied. Their hair did grow back. But that is because they are living in a blissful state of ignorance. They have no idea that their hair grew back because they have a positive predisposition to Minoxidil which they could have purchased at $12 and $15 per month. If those customers ever understand that they have been ripped off, I wonder what they would say. Yes their hair did grow, and some of them would have taken Retinoic Acid and Loniten and Finasteride (some have taken ALL of these, and some have been instructed to take high dosages). So ignoring the dangers, we can say that yes, if those people have a biological system that responds well to such medications, they would have responded well to those medications at a few dollars, and not the thousands upon thousands they have paid, to buy them through an unlicensed company called IHRB. So the clients are satisfied with what the basic medications did for them, and not what IHRB did for them. Tell those customers who paid $10,000 and $25,000 that the products they bought, believing them were special to IHRB, were easily available form their local chemist at $250 or so, and tell me then what their satisfaction level drops to.

Point 9.8 is talking about the other nonsense that IHRB sells. Here is an article that explains that IHRB’s shampoos are not what they claim to be.  Here is an artcile that looks at the huge prices charged for IHRB’s useless shampoo. And here is a article that explain the exorbitant prices. And check this out about Activance which anyone can buy at 252 per year, yet IHRB sells it at up to $12,259 per year. Is that a difference or what?

How does IHRB respond to Point 9.8? It says that it has testimonials from priests and doctors etc. First, the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) determined that the testimonials are unverified. It also warned IHRB that it is against the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code to use testimonials from Doctors. It also told IHRB that cannot be used if they give the impression that IHRB provides services/products that are ‘miraculous’ (which the one from the said Priest suggests). To have the intestinal fortitude to spin goo to the CRP by daring to say that IHRB has testimonials from a medical centre, is sheer effluence in the extreme. It shows the lies, the misleading sludge, and the brazen guts and bones of this company that has no regard for the truth when dealing with CTTT or the CRP. Sam Cohen has written to the CTTT and in Point 9.8 is telling the CRP that he has a testimonial from a medical centre. Disgusting. Disgraceful. Abominable! That sentence that IHRB extracts from a supposed testimonial from a medical centre is not a recommendation at all. It was a letter that Sam Cohen received from a doctor from a medical centre who happened to see a full-page ad in the ‘Daily Telegraph’. On 8 June 2004, doctor Rad Naidu writes a polite note to introduce himself. He starts the note by saying, ‘I recently read your advertisement in the Daily telegraph. I would like to congratulate you on your apparent successful methods for the treatment of hair loss. My name is Dr Rad Naidu and I socialise in Hair Transplantation at The Surry Hills Medical Centre. I am interested in patients with hair loss problems where topical and hormonal treatments have failed. Our Hair Transplant Clinic has been very successful and surgery is encouraged as a last resort where all other methods have failed. I would like to meet with you so that we could discuss cross-referencing patients. I am sure that we could both benefit from this. Your response is appreciated. I enclose our brochure for your perusal. Regards, Dr Rad Naidu.’  This letter is not a testimonial. It is a cold-calling sales letter from a doctor who simply saw an ad that we now know was officially unlawful, misleading, and unverified. The doctor had never met Sam Cohen. He knew nothing about IHRB. He was being polite to congratulate IHRB based on the lies he saw in the ad. The doctor had no idea about IHRB. He was trying to break the ice with a polite introduction. Yet, Sam Cohen uses that opening line and publishes it in foreign-language press, and a raft of ads in English, all around town, while also putting this other misleading and unverified testimonials on his website, along with other testimonials that breach the code and that are suspicious in their nature, and from some clients who have personally told me that they received a benefit for providing a testimonial, which is against the Code! So everything about IHRB’s testimonials is either suspicious, wrong, misleading, concocted, unverified, outrageous, or plain stupid, and/or are from people who have been given free or discounted products for their testimonial! Some of those people did grow their hair, but only after they paid massive rip-off fees for basic simple readily-available products, and by using dangerous non-approved products that could be extremely dangerous. The testimonials never divulged what was paid, over what period, and that the medications used were non-recommended and/or non-approved, at super high dangerous doses. The testimonials do not explain that what the client’s scalp is like now, because some of those people now are bald again! So Point 9.8 was not answered. Instead, a load of rubbish was heaped upon the CRP. Luckily, the smart Panel at the CRP saw right through these lies and issued heavy Sanctions, which IHRB has ignored completely!

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Point 9.9 says that Mr Cohen untruthfully claims to have 36 years of experience. The solicitor’s response was redacted (blanked out) by the TGA, presumably because there was some private material. The bit we can read says, ‘He was then engaged with a similar business known as [redacted — presumably it said ‘Ashley & Martin’] but commenced his won business in December 2002. He has been so engaged since that time.’ Over the years, Mr Cohen kept updating the quantity of years of experience that he claims to possess. When he claimed that he had 33 years of experience, I conducted a review using ASIC reports about his career. You can read the full report here which shows that Mr Cohen’s relevant experience was 20 years, not 33 years. Below we see an excerpt from the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners which says, ‘A health practitioner must not engage in any form of misinformation or misrepresentation in relation to… his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations.’ Records show that Mr Cohen had worked for Lord Jim hair pieces, which is a company that sells wigs. You can watch Mr Cohen in an old TV ad for wigs. Selling wigs is a profession that is vastly different one that claims to grow hair using medical and therapeutic products. Mr Cohen then says that he worked at Ashley & Martin. He was in sales. He had no medical training. He was never licensed. So what experience does he have in relation to the therapeutic promises? His attractive IHRB ads speak about his company which he calls an ‘Institute‘. His literature refers to ‘Our various state of the art prescribed medications‘. Working at Ashley & Martin as a salesman, does not make him knowledgable about medical products, despite Mr Cohen saying in his ads and literature that he innovated solutions for hair growth. At the time of writing is paragraph (9 August 2012) the IHRB website speaks about Mr Cohen’s ‘practical experience’ and says, ‘we are committed to provide you with the latest and best advances in medical, surgical and other hair replacement methods.’ How does Sam Cohen have any qualifications in these areas? His former employer, Ashley & Martin, explains Mr Cohen’s claims as ‘marketing puffery‘.

This is from the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners as made under the Public Health (General) Regulation 2002, Schedule 3. The Commissioner of the Health Care Complaints Commission writes about Mr Cohen that, ‘the Code of Conduct for unregistered health practitioners as prescribed by regulation under section 10AM of the Public Health Act 1991 applies to him so far as his hair regrowth business is concerned.’

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Point 9.10 examines Mr Cohen’s claim that he has a Science Degree. The response says, ‘Agreed. However, I commenced but did not complete a Science degree course at…’ The rest is blanked out by the TGA, presumably for privacy. However, Mr Cohen had explained himself in public documents, and I know what he says and how he tried to defend his lie — the lie about his qualification that saw him receive a Criminal Conviction at Parramatta Court. In the excerpt from the Code of Conduct above, we read that, ‘A health practitioner must provide truthful information as to his or her qualifications, training or professional affiliations if asked by a client.’ Mr Cohen tells people that he has a Bachelor of Science degree, with the same breath that he claims to have invented special Indian Curries that comprise 13 secret and exclusive natural herbal extracts that are supposedly the best in the world, and which had enabled him to treat all his clients to their utmost satisfaction. The issue of the fake Degree is a major one, because it is all part of sales spin that combines with misleading and deceptive advertising along with and unverified testimonials, and the use of dangerous non-approved products that mr Cohen passes-up as his own creations, resulting in clients paying thousands of dollars for no service whatsoever, and for medications that they could have bought on the market at a tiny fraction of the price. After being convicted for lying about his Degree, Mr Cohen sought to appeal his conviction, which only annoyed the judge at the appeals hearing, sending Mr Cohen packing.

This is how Sam Cohen explains why he lied to the Tribunal. What a funny response. If someone asks about your qualifications, and you keep evading the question, and they keep asking, I would have thought that you would tell the truth. Mr Cohen should have told the truth. ‘I have no academic qualifications’ should have been the response. Instead he lied. Why? Because he tells everyone that he has a bachelor of Science. That lie was not a slip of the tongue. How can anyone just slip up and invent a degree for themselves?

In a statement that Sam Cohen distributes to anyone who cares to read, and which he uploaded on his website on 18 May 2012 (and removed it after I threatened legal action) he wrote, ‘The Member at the CTTT kept on insisting about my academic qualifications. To stop further questioning, I told him that I was a Bachelor of Science.’ The story about Sam Cohen’s lie is outlined in this article called, ‘Bachelor of Science Fiction‘. It shows how the lie was one that had been told many time before, and for many years, and a lie which was also stated in an Affidavit and in a company annual report. That was no slip-up. It was what Sam Cohen told everyone. Surrounding that fateful Tribunal Hearing, I had accused Mr Cohen of fabricating evidence. It all adds up to a tidy sum of untruths, which makes any Tribunal matter problematic and exhausting. Amazingly, when Mr Cohen was interviewed by Investigators from NSW Fair Trading, he tried to mislead them as well. In a media statement from the Department of Fair Trading, Commissioner Rod Stowe said that during the course of the Fair Trading investigation, Mr Cohen, ‘even provided misleading documents in relation to his academic progress, in an attempt to support his claim and cover his tracks.’ In other words, Mr Cohen not only tried to mislead the Tribunal, he even tried to mislead the investigators about the original lie. So if the first lie was designed to stop the Member from asking about his qualifications, what was the second lie all about? Commissioner Stowe added this about Samuel Faraj Cohen: ‘His actions are reprehensible and can not be defended.’

UNTRUTHS 46 to 55

Point 10.1 relates to Code 4(2)(a), referring to Unrealistic Expectations. It looks at Mr Cohen’s claim that in all his years of business at IHRB, he has never failed. The Complaints Resolution Panel found that IHRB had in fact breached this Code. It was officially determined that IHRB’s ads made unrealistic expectations. Let’s examine how IHRB tried to argue otherwise. The first sentence says, ‘The comment at left is by Mr Nader, not Mr Cohen, and represents Mr Nader’s distortion and inaccurate summation of content on Mr Cohen’s website.’ IHRB accused me of distorting the information featured on IHRB’s website. This image is just one example of the over-confident claims that lead people to formulate unrealistic expectations. In an article that Mr Cohen publishes on his site, Mr Cohen is quoted saying, ‘I have achieved unparalleled results in re-growth of hair to the utmost satisfaction of every person I have treated.’ The UTMOST satisfaction of EVERT person he has treated. That says to me that each and every person Mr Cohen has treated, has been satisfied to the UTMOST level. Everything I have heard from Mr Cohen and read of his material, is replete with extremes. The word ‘utmost’ refers to the ‘most extreme; greatest: a matter of the utmost importance; the greatest or most extreme extent or amount…’ [New Oxford American Dictionary.] So the accusation that Mr Cohen claims that he has never failed, is evident. The CRP discovered this as well. Hence the Sanctions which IHRB continues to ignore!

In the second paragraph of Point 10.1, the solicitor says, ‘The words “I have achieved… I have treated” were not written by our client. The words are part of a commentary by another person.’ Oh goodness gracious can you see the absurdity of this logic. Mr Cohen sent out a media release and made a deal with a few publications that he would advertise with them if they would place favourable advertorials. Some included him just providing media blurb, while others involved a representative from the publication re-wording and re-working the marketing hype to make it look like some serious interview had taken place. The solicitor wanted the CRP to believe that Mr Cohen said those words, but he did not write those word, so he cannot be held responsible for them? So now any advertiser of therapeutic goods can make any claim, so long as the claim is made verbally, and published by a third party. However, these statements were SAID BY BY MR COHEN and PUBLISHED BY MR COHEN on his website for his clients to admire.

The solicitor then wants the CRP to swallow the idea that the words used to mislead clients really had nothing to do with IHRB. They were supposedly claims made within Editorials from ‘Independent Journalists‘. Ok, take a look at the comparison below. Both editorials from supposedly independent journalists are identical, despite being written six months apart, and published in two separate magazines own by two different publishers. What kind of a jackpot is it that two journalist can independently interview Mr Cohen, and  both of them end up writing the EXACT article?

This reminds me of the query about whether or not monkeys, if each given a word-processor and all the time in the world, could bash-away at the keyboard randomly, to eventually pump-out the entire works of William Shakespeare. It seems possible if in fact two different independent journalists were able to bound the keyboards at their independent desks and write identical editorials. Point 10.1 continues, ‘Notwithstanding that Mr Cohen has not written those words, having had it brought to his attention that he could be regarded as endorsing the words by publication on his website, the words will be taken down.’ Well Dear Reader, that promise was made 29 August 2011. The Sanctions were handed down 16 November 2011. Today is 10 August 2012 and those words are still up there on IHRB’s website, in breach of the Sanctions. The second-last paragraph in Point 10.1 says, ‘This also applies to the words “I have achieved unparalleled results in regrowth of hair to the utmost satisfaction of every person I have treated”. When the above words were incorporated into the website design, there had been no complaints. Mr Cohen concedes that Mr Nader’s complaint, and those complaints which had arisen since the involvement of Mr Nader, now make such a claim factually inaccurate. These words will now also be modified.’

More than a year after providing that undertaking, and those words are still not modified. They are still used as weapons of deception. Furthermore, long before I ever met Mr Cohen, he was entangled in arguments with dissatisfied clients, so it is a fib to suggest that the complaints have arisen since my involvement. Tribunal records show this, local court documents show this, along with out-of-court settlements, and letters of complaint sent to NSW Fair Trading — all pointing to frustrated and dissatisfied clients long before I ever had anything to do with IHRB.

UNTRUTH 56

Point 10.2 refers to the comments made by a client called Steve James. The response from IHRB is that, ‘Mr James is an arms’ length client of our client who has provided his testimonials freely and voluntarily.’ That is not the point. Any testimonial must be real and relevant. Here is how the Panel reacted to the solicitor’s explanation: ‘The Panel noted the argument of the advertiser that the words in the testimonials and “editorials” were “not written by” the advertiser but that were “part of a commentary by another person”, or were “provided… freely and voluntarily.” As noted above, this argument does not address the alleged breaches of section 4(2)(a) of the Code. The inclusion of the words in the advertisement is the responsibility of the advertiser, and regardless of their original authorship the words are part of the advertisements in which they appear.’ IHRB seems to think that it can extricate itself from the legal requirements by getting its clients to do its dirty work.

UNTRUTH 57

Point 10.3 notes that the client, Mr James, would have received good hair regrowth because he would have taken non-approved dangerous medications. Not surprisingly, IHRB’s submission to the Panel says, ‘Assumption and supposition by Mr Nader, no evidence provided.’ IHRB is the one that needs to provide the evidence. The Police raid on IHRB’s office, along with covert video footage of Mr Cohen illegally selling 15% Minoxidil and Loniten, both without a prescription, along with his price list that shows Schedule 2 and Schedule 4 medications which he was never licensed to sell, along with clients who are given referrals to request medications that the TGA either does not approve and/or does not recommend, all point to a methodology of Mr Cohen using non-approved and dangerous medications, and medications which specifically come with warnings that say the medication must not be used for hair growth. So I do not doubt that Mr James grew his hair. The question is why Mr Cohen does not divulge the truth, that Mr James took a range of medications, which did make his hair grow, but those medications are available on the market, which have nothing to do with Mr Cohen, so why is he making out that he was the one who invested some special topical solution that supposedly is the secret formulation that generated the magnificent growth. Mr James’ testimonial says that nothing on the market worked, and that only after Mr James used products made by Mr Cohen, did his hair grow. Mr James had the wool pulled over his eyes. The Panel gave Mr Cohen every opportunity to prove his statements and the efficacy of his products. He could not! So the Panel said, in the absence of evidence from the IHRB, it concluded that the ad and the testimonial was in breach of the Code. Further in Point 10.3, IHRB denies the allegations and says, ‘All clients use either medications prescribed by their own doctors or substances for which a prescription is not needed.’ The Health Care Complaints Commission spent six months to get to the bottom of such lies, and found that this statement from IHRB is a lie. In any case, even if a client were to obtain a prescription for Finasteride and Minoxidil and Loniten and Retinoic Acid, it could well be that these medications did work. So that is not in dispute. The issue is that IHRB makes out that nothing works without its secret natural extracts. It is a legal requirement that IHRB prove this. It has never proved this. So its owner can whistle dixie all he likes.

The fourth paragraph says, ‘This aspect has been thoroughly investigated by the Healthy (sic) Care Complaints Commission with the findings on the HCCC website…’ This is so cute. IHRB was made to look like a wet fish, because the HCCC findings were damning. IHRB keeps referring people to the report, as if to say that the HCCC report was in any way merciful. It is pathetic that IHRB keeps on using this kind of psychology. It says that this aspect has been thoroughly investigated by HCCC. Yes it was. And so what’s that supposed to mean? Why not also say, and it is clear that the sun rises in the east. So what? This aspect was investigated by HCCC which found Sam Cohen to be an ‘unreliable witness’, and one who breach the codes and who was determined by HCCC to be a danger to society, and one who needed to be slapped with a Permanent Prohibition Order. One who lied to the Commission and one whose evidence was ‘self-serving’.

UNTRUTHS 58 to 63

Point 10.4 accuses IHRB’s products of being ineffective because the pharmacists state that no active ingredients are included. The solicitor writes, ‘This statement is wide, generalized and sweeping. No particulars are provided, whether as to the claims, the products, the statements or the pharmacists. Our client denies the allegation and stands by his testimonials, comments and results.’ How can Sam Cohen stand by his testimonials? These were determined by the Panel to be unverified. How can he stand by his comments, which everything he says is hogwash? How can he stand by the results when any results were thanks to Minoxidil and other readily-available products that anyone could have purchased and used. And how can he start off by saying that my statement is wide and generalised. It was super narrow and ultra-specific. The three pharmacists are known. He know them. We know them. I submitted their emails to me and to other clients, wherein these pharmacists say the following: Pharmacist #1 says that he never used any extracts from IHRB. That pharmacist supplied IHRB for over eight years, so he should know. He has said that he is willing to testify in any Court or Tribunal. Pharmacist #2 said that Mr Cohen prevailed upon him to add some grape-seed extract and simple vitamins. He said that the solution caused a lot of problems so he stopped using it after only one month, and he said that when it was used, the bottles of Minoxidil crystallised, so all the bottles had to be sent back, so no client was able to use this formulation. The pharmacist also said that those extracts and vitamins had no therapeutic effect and no active ingredient, and that they would only have added an extra dollar or two to the price of each bottle of Minoxidil. Is that not specific enough? What a lame argument! Point 10.4 refers to the non-existence of secret extracts. It is a legal requirement for IHRB to prove that they exist and that they are scientifically proven to regrow hair. No proof exists, and that’s because no such products exist, and Mr Cohen and has lawyer want me to prove that something that does not exist, does not work! Talk about rolling on the floor laughing.

UNTRUTH 64

Point 10.5 looks at testimonials that say that even doctors, who achieved no success for the patients, saw IHRB’s results and were amazed. IHRB’s response to using such unverified statements that suggest that its supposed formulation is so good, that even doctors (who presumably know what’s available on the market) were amazed. How does the solicitor respond? He says, ‘These are the words of satisfied clients, not the words of our client. It is noted in this regard that our client has had 4-5 doctors as clients including one as a current client.’ When I was a client of IHRB, Mr Cohen showed me (while breaking client confidentiality) the files of a Doctor Ronald Peach of Willoughby, while telling me Dr Peach even prescribed Finasteride and Loniten for himself and Dr Peach’s son. Mr Cohen was trying to convince me that even doctors think he is amazing. No dear reader, this says to me that even doctors can be duped, just like the rest of us were duped, because Mr Cohen had perfected his sales tactics so well, that even doctors thought that he might be telling the truth. Sam Cohen mislead us all, doctors and all! In any case, the Panel is not interested in who IHRB’s clients are. The Panel is concerned with misleading and deceptive advertising, and what an average reader might presume while reading the ads. To have a statement in the ads that says that even doctors were amazed, suggests something entirely different and completely misleading — as if to say that no-one has been able to assist clients suffering with hair-loss, and when Sam Cohen came along, he used his secret formula that is better than anything else on the market, and that his formula supposedly surpasses all the rest on the market, that even doctors are amazed at how well it supposedly works. That is the issue here. It is a misleading statement, because it leads people to presume that even doctors are amazed. It is not true. No doctor is amazed by Sam Cohen’s formula, because no such therapeutic formula exists. If any doctor is amazed, they are amazed by what the combination of Loniten, Finasteride, Retin-A and Minoxidil does to regrow hair. They cannot be amazed by what IHRB’s secret Indian curries are all about — because they do not exist. What we do not know is how these clients progress a few years later in terms of their health. What kinds of other complications might they have suffered, that Mr Cohen either does not monitor, or withholds from us. I would like to see the medical records for Mr Steve James, to see how his heart is shaping up and what is erectile function/dysfunction might be like.

UNTRUTHS 65 to 67

Point 10.6 looks at how IHRB’s ads criticise competitors and hold IHRB out as being better than its competitors. IHRB denies this. Yet each ad talks about IHRB being the best in the world, being honest, and being the only thing that works, while casting aspersions about competitors. Typically, IHRB denies this accusation. Here is an article that looks at how IHRB sets itself out to be the only honest one.

IHRB’s ads keep inferring that competitors are so bad that they have been exposed on ‘Today Tonight’ and ‘A Current Affair’. The snapshot on the right is from IHRB’s website which asks readers to ‘Be weary (sic) about what you hear and see’. So how can he deny this? It is flabbergasting to read the trollop of endless denials in relation to the jolly obvious. Interestingly, Mr Cohen’s English is not one of his strong points. He spells it as ‘weary’, when he means to say ‘wary’. Ironically, ‘weary’ is a real word that is impeccably apt. His error has a foreboding about it. An unintended pun that hits the mark. Indeed, he makes as weary! Point 10.6 shows the solicitor adding, ‘Our client does however make the claim that its product is different from competitors in that our client has additional ingredients.’ Indeed, this admission is self-incriminating because Mr Cohen has no right to tamper with what the prescriptions had called for, nor does he have the right to tamper with medications. To admit that he adds anything, shows that IHRB is selling a product, whereas earlier in the submission, we were told that IHRB provides a ‘service’ and not a ‘product’. So now IHRB is admitting to selling products, which it is not licensed to sell. Furthermore, any additional ingredients need to be TGA approved. IHRB has no proof that these ingredients are used, and if they are, how come non of the three pharmacists know about them?

The third paragraph in that Point 10.6 says, ‘As noted, our client offers a money back guarantee, which in itself is inconsistent with allegations of being misleading.’ Oh dear, the whole money-back guarantee is exceedingly misleading and a useless guarantee that is voided moments after each contract is signed, and before the client leaves the IHRB’s office. What a joke. Besides, what has that statement to do with the accusation that IHRB holds itself out to be better than anyone. I find it amusing that IHRB would just add these random sentences to the accusations. Anyway, the Panel did not buy any of this diatribe, and determined that IHRB’s ads must be stopped, and that a retraction must be published (neither has happened due to IHRb’s snub and recalcitrance and total disregard for the laws of this land). The Panel found the ads to be unlawful. So all this talk is nonsense.

UNTRUTHS 68 & 69

Point 10.7 addresses the problem of IHRB saying that it is offering a world-first money back guarantee, saying that it was the first in the world to offer a money back guarantee. This lie is address at the bottom is this link. The CEO of Ashley & Martin wrote to confirm for me that Ashley & Martin has been offering a money back guarantee (since 1995) on its medical treatment called the RealGrowth Program. IHRB was started in 2002.

An email from Ashley & Martin CEO, Mr Richard Bond to Jonar Nader.

Ashely & Martin was offering the guarantee in 1995. Sam Cohen ought to have known this because he was the Sales Manager at Ashley & Martin and worked for that company for 30-odd years. So here he is telling the Panel that IHRB is the only provider which offers a money back guarantee if the client does not grow more hair. Mind you, that is a slimy statement in itself. The whole idea about a guarantee is just to lull people into a sense of security when they start to doubt anything Mr Cohen says. His response is, ‘You’ve got nothing to lose’. Indeed they have a lot to lose, including their health, their money, and their hair (because he wastes people’s time and deprives them of a real and proper treatment, as Alex found out the hard way). The third paragraph is a red-herring. Mind you, it is curious that Mr Cohen says that he rejects people he cannot help. Which is sort of saying that if he does take your money, he can help you. But then he asks people to sign that he cannot help them. Too funny for words. Just check out this article for the full tragic comedy about the third paragraph wherein the solicitor says, ‘It is also noted that our client rejects people who are beyond assistance or who will not benefit from our client’s treatment program. Hence the persons selected have a greater probability of a positive response to treatment.’ The first paragraph in 10.7 alludes to clients like Advanced Hair Studios who promise a full head of hair when, according to Sam Cohen, what they are selling is only a wig. Mr Cohen hates the fact that Advanced Hair Studios uses such tricky language to describe a full head of hair, when, he old me, the hair is not your own. It is a wig. Granted, that is true. But that does not address 10.7. Mr Cohen says that he is offering something that others do not. First, others do offer a guarantee, and second, his guarantee is not worth the paper it’s written on.

The second paragraph says, ‘It is also noted that our client rejects people who are beyond assistance or who will not benefit from our client’s treatment program…’ Who Mr Cohen rejects is of no consequence. All the clients he does accept, end up with photos of their scalp taken, along with a stamp that is printed on all the photos that Mr Cohen uses to show the authorities to defend himself in case anyone seeks a refund. The stamp says, ‘Do not expect any hair to regrow here’. So far, every one of these I have seen, shows a client whom Mr Cohen expects to agree that they are not to expect any hair to grow back. So those from whom he does take money, are supposed to accept the fact that t hey are buying a treatment that should never work for them. The stamp says that the client agreed that they are parting with their money, and are not expecting their hair to grow. Some clients have told me that they never signed that agreement. They only signed their photos merely at the suggestion of Mr Cohen who asked them to sign to confirm that the photo was in fact of their own head. That signature is later abused, when Mr Cohen stamps the photos with his disclaimer, which clients knew nothing about.

UNTRUTHS 70

TBA

 

Dear Reader. The analysis so far gets us to the first seven pages of an 18-page document. Every few days, I shall add to this article, until I have evaluated the whole 18 pages. I am just waiting on some additional evidence from my researchers and upon legal advice, and I shall press-on and expose the lies in each and every page. So please return to this article every few days, and you will see how IHRB continues to deceive the authorities. If you would like me to tell you when I have made updates, just write to me about this article, via the comments link below called ‘Leave a Reply’, and I will make a special note of sending you an email every time this article is updated.

 

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