The cows are coming

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After almost five years of gathering evidence against Sam Cohen and the Institute of Hair Regrowth & Beauty, I stand aghast that Mr Cohen has not woken up to anything whatsoever. He has not changed (apart from being more guarded and is now sneakier by necessity). He has not shown any remorse. He just keeps on lying and trying to find loopholes. In my experience and in my opinion and according to the evidence I have, Mr Sam Cohen is the type of liar who will argue until the cows come home. Dear reader, the cows have come home. This is the end of the line. This is what I have learned: Sam Cohen of IHRB does not have the DNA that could possibly correct itself. Nothing will ever change! So consumers will continue to be ripped off.

This article no longer concerns itself with Mr Cohen and his pathetic lies. Rather, after scratching my head, I have come up with an eight-point plan for you, the consumer, to carry with you when next you meet with Mr Sam Cohen (but seek all responses in writing because he is a slippery character who cannot be trusted). Whether you are a new or old client who needs to find a way to put a stop to his endless, unabated, shameful lies, ask Mr Cohen to answer these questions for you — in writing!

REWARD

The first person who can bring to me the evidence that Mr Cohen has responded legitimately and honestly (with proof and signed documentation in the form of Statutory Declarations from Mr Cohen and his Pharmacist) to these eight questions below, I shall donate $3700 to an Australian registered social charity of their choice (someone like The Salvation Army or The Red Cross).

CHECKMATE

Here are the eight questions that will checkmate Sam Cohen:

1) With reference to all the photos and testimonials (used in the past five years) of IHRB clients who have allegedly achieved stunning results: Dear Mr Cohen, please provide a statement that explains to us which medications each person has used to achieve those results. And provide their names and current contact details so that we can call and confirm with them which medications they used by checking their pharmacy records.

WHY: We ask this question because the testimonials are from people who used non-approved dangerous medications such as Loniten. So their results were not achieved as per the advertising. So the ads showed great photos, while the ads were promising herbal safe remedies. When in fact, the clients were not using the program that was advertised in print. It would be like grabbing a body builder and showing his muscles as proof that my chewing gum can get you such results. It is absurd.

2) Mr Cohen has been selling Minoxidil and Finasteride and Loniten. These can only be purchased from a pharmacist. And some can only be obtained with a prescription. Dear Mr Cohen, please prove to us that you are authorised by the relevant NSW bodies to dispense, handle, or sell Schedule 2 and Schedule 4 products, and tell us emphatically, have you never sold prescription-only medications to clients who did not have a doctor’s prescription?

WHY: We ask this question because Mr Cohen is not licensed to sell these products. And because there is proof that Mr Cohen has sold prescription-only medications to clients who did not have a prescription. Furthermore, the medications he sells are dangerous and have never been approved for hair regrowth!

3) Mr Cohen states that the reason he charges $4900 (plus on-going rip-off prices for products) is that his clients are receiving his own secret Indian herbs and curries/spices. While he might protest that these are secret, it is a legal requirement that he disclose the ingredients. Dear Mr Cohen, please provide a list of the herbs and spices and Indian curries that you use in the Minoxidil bottles (that you are not even allowed to handle but still do illegally), and tell us how these herbs and the Vitamin-A get into the bottle? Do you put them in there yourself? If so, that is illegal. Is a pharmacist compounding them for you? In which case, we need a sworn Statutory Declaration from the pharmacist that he or she is mixing these in, along with the ingredients, and that these additions are authorised by the GP who issued the prescription and that the ingredients have a therapeutic effect and contain ‘active’ ingredients and that you have a TGA Approval Number for these to be mixed with Scheduled medications.

WHY: We ask this question because the IHRB program is nothing more than Minoxidil along with Finasteride and the dangerous non-approved Loniten that, if one were stupid enough, could purchase for a fraction of the price (if they found a doctor daft enough to write out a prescription). So, for 12 bottles of Minoxidil, which one can purchase at $30 each ($360), why is Sam Cohen charging approximately $4900? He has no justification, so he has invented phantom curries and herbs and extracts that do not exist, and I have a letter from the lawyers of his first pharmacist, who had been his supplier for years and years, to say that no such curries exist inside the tamper-proof bottles, so how do these magical mystical phantom herbs find their way inside sealed bottles? They don’t exist. So ask Mr Cohen to prove it. He can’t and he won’t, so end of story.

4) Samuel Faraj Cohen will add that his program includes organic shampoos and dermaclean and some tablets which are saw palmetto. Dear Mr Cohen, provide a certificate from the manufacturer, and another one from an Australian accredited laboratory, to prove that they are organic, and that they are anything more than basic cheap detergent, and that they have anything at all to do with hair regrowth. And provide similar certificates to prove that the saw palmetto tablets are effective for hair growth in any shape or form.

WHY: Now that Sam is under the microscope, he is extra careful (but still careless) about how he sells his program. He knows that he is not allowed to touch Minoxidil etc, so he says to clients that he will post it to them, leading them to believe that his pharmacist will post it out, as if he is not touching them. Well, when they are posted out, insist on a receipt from the pharmacist, and if each bottle is more than $30, ask to see a signed letter from the pharmacist stating what ingredients were used inside the bottle that hiked the price up. When a customer pays thousands for a treatment, Sam wants them to leave the Pitt Street office with some bogus products to make it seem as if he has just sold them something of value. He does not want them to walk out empty handed. So he gives them cheap detergents, while lying about their efficacy, bundled with saw palmetto, just to add mystery to the whole affair. It has all been disproved. And yet he will argue that it is all part of his program. The dermaclean is like a paint stripper. It is used to dissolve the sticky minoxidil that makes the hair tacky and sticky and almost brittle, so this is nothing more than a gunk remover.

5) Sam Cohen will insist that his formulations are unique, and that it is pointless for anyone to just buy Minoxidil and Finasteride (at a fraction of the price) because these are supposedly useless without his secret herbs. Dear Mr Cohen, please provide the results of scientific independent clinical trials from an accredited trusted source that shows that your herbs are more effective than the standard products that are available on the market at a fraction of the price.

WHY: Sam will lie about everything. We need to stop his mouth from moving. We no longer want to hear anything about anything. If his products are better, how do we know that they are better? Prove it scientifically. It is dead simple. Shut up and prove it! Sam will spin endless lies and he will point to photos of people who had wonderful transformations. Some of those people improved because they had been suffering nervous conditions, so it had nothing to do with his medications, and some had received excellent cometic appearances because they were overdosed on non-approved, dangerous drugs, and a cocktail of medications that include Retin-A that medical experts say should not be mixed with Minoxidil. So let’s stop arguing, and prove that your special formula actually has been clinically tested. It has not, so he has no proof. So he should stop talking! If he does have some lolly water, then please show us the independent professional clinical trials and longitudinal studies that show that his useless water actually grows hair. If he can prove this, I can make him a billionaire overnight. I have connections with Royal rich Arabs who would snap up the formula because it would be a world-first, and a discovery worth billions.

6) Sam will insist that he has satisfied clients who have provided model release forms and testimonials. Dear Mr Cohen, please confirm in writing that the clients actually wrote those testimonials without any editorial help from your office, and put in writing that you have never paid those people by way of free (or discounted) products. And let us see their hair now.

WHY: I have evidence that he drafted most of those testimonials over the years. I have evidence from clients who told me that Sam gave them free products in exchange for being models, which means that they were not independent clients, but a paid endorsement, and I know that some of those clients now are in a worse balding position than before, yet he still used them as examples, showing their old photos that were misleading.

7) When a client protests about the undesirable side effects, and seeks a refund based on non-performance, Sam will refer to his contract that allows him to substitute the products for non-medical, herbal versions (eg in case of a pregnant woman who is outraged that Sam did not warn her about the dangerous side effects of the medications). Dear Mr Cohen, when you hide behind the statement that you have non-medical versions of your product, please outline the ingredients and have this signed-off by the pharmacist, and show us clinical trials that these alternative products have been independently tested to show that they are of any use at all in re-growing hair.

WHY: The IHRB contract is a laughable document that locks a customer into Sam’s clutches. When the client shows no improvement, Sam will invoke a clause that says he can use other non-medical products. These are nothing more than water. So he exhausts his clients and never issues a refund, unless a client drags him through the courts or a tribunal. Let us see the scientific proof that those products work. That is how the medical industry works. It furnishes the results of independent clinical trials. So let’s see them!

8) If you are a client who had previously handed to Sam one of your legitimate prescriptions, ask that your prescription/s be returned to you. You might well find that it has been used without your knowledge to dispense products that were never intended for you. Dear Mr Cohen, have you ever used client’s prescriptions to order medications that you then sold or gave to other clients who did not have a prescription?

WHY: Sam Cohen hoards prescriptions and uses them to acquire medications that he illegally sells to others with no regard for their health and safety, and no regard for the law. I have proof of this, so let’s pitch proof with proof and let him deny it, but not verbally, let us have it in writing! He would not dare.

THE COWS HAVE COME HOME

In a nutshell, we need proof of any statement that Mr Cohen makes. If he says that his products have herbs, prove it. His own pharmacists say that the herbs do not exist! If he says that his herbs work, prove it via clinical trials. Dead simple. What’s the argument? Just stop making statements about how good you are, and prove why anyone needs to pay you $4900 plus on-going ripoff prices where a $70 product at a local pharmacy is sold by you at $900. How does $70 become $900? Just prove it!

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

The Health Care Complaints Commission has slapped Sam Cohen and IHRB with this Permanent Prohibition Order and issued this statement on its website on the 23rd of February 2011.

You can learn more here.

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