The King of Puff

The King of Puff

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Sam Cohen’s former colleague has described Sam’s published statements as nothing more than ‘marketing puffery‘. This article examines some of Mr Cohen’s claims.

1) Mr Cohen swears (even in a signed Affidavit to a Court) that he has a Bachelor of Science, yet he is not willing to prove it, and all my efforts to locate his degree has resulted in the university saying that it has no records.

2) After I told Mr Cohen that both my doctors had refused to prescribe Loniten, he insisted that Loniten was approved by the TGA for hair growth. This is grossly incorrect. In trying to convince me that I should take Loniten, Mr Cohen stated that he had collaborated with Dr Adam Lewenberg from New York, and that Dr Lewenberg prescribes Loniten. So I wrote to Dr Lewenbeg, and this was the response from his New York office, ‘While Mr. Cohen may be making use of Dr. Lewenberg’s published research, Dr. Lewenberg has no relationship with Mr. Cohen or the Institute of Hair Regrowth and Beauty in Australia… Dr Lewenberg prescribes and sells liquid solutions containing 2% Minoxidil and 0.025% Tretinoin. Dr. Lewenberg has not prescribed Loniten since the 1980s. Loniten is oral Minoxidil. While Dr. Lewenberg does rarely prescribe finasteride, it is not part of the regimen. Thank you for bringing Mr. Cohen’s claims to our attention. We will be contacting him shortly about the mischaracterizations.’

3) At one time, while I was at the IHRB office in Pitt Street, Mr Cohen was saying that my doctors were ‘nut-cases’ and that they are talking ‘through their arse holes’ and that doctors and dermatologists ‘know nothing about hair’, and that doctors are ‘donkeys’ and that Loniten ‘cannot hurt’ me. In trying to prove to me that many doctors prescribe Loniten, he made a call to doctor Jennifer Martinick’s clinic in Perth, and he spoke with a woman on loud speaker, so I could hear the conversation with a ‘Bianca’ who repeatedly and categorically told Mr Cohen that Dr Martinick had never prescribed Loniten to her patients. Prior to that call, Mr Cohen said to me, ‘Dr Martinick gives all her patients Loniten’. It’s a far cry from ALL PATIENTS, to the truth of the matter being NONE NEVER.

4) Mr Cohen still insisted that Loniten is approved by the TGA and the FDA. When he could not prove any of his claims to me, he sent me this badly-scanned document that he said proved that Loniten was used for hair growth. On top of telling me to ditch my doctors, and telling me that I should not listen to my Doctor’s and my Specialist’s advice, Mr Cohen told me to take Loniten. Despite my contacting Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies, and advising Mr Cohen that they all suggested that I stay clear of dangerous medications like Proscar and Loniten, Mr Cohen said that I was a young man, and that I should not wait for any more proof, and just go ahead and use Loniten and Proscar. Let us examine the document that Mr Cohen had sent to me.

a) It was published in 1987, so we can safely say that it was well out of date.

b) The footnote in the article said, ‘This study was supported in part by a grant from The Upjohn Co, Kalamazoo, Mich.’ Upjohn is a pharmaceutical manufacturer. Hardly an independent study!

c) Not only was it sponsored by Upjohn, the manufacturer of Minoxidil products with pecuniary interest, and therefore a conflict of interest that could render any scientific research questionable, the footer also stated, ‘The authors wish to thank Lawrence K. Oliver, PhD, of The Upjohn Co… for performing the minoxidil assay and Bobbi Colloway for her secretarial assistance.’

d) The study was for people suffering with the rare condition known as Alopecia Areata which affects only 0.1 % of the population and has nothing to do with the type of hairloss that I was experiencing. So this study has no bearing on my condition.

e) The study was not advocating the use of oral Monixidil. It was merely wondering why patients with this rare condition (Areata) were not responding to any of the regular Minoxidil treatments, and so the study tried to find a way to ensure that the Minoxidil was getting through the scalp. The study wanted to check if the scalp was in any way a blockage to Minoxidil. The study was trying to ‘bypass the limitations of topical treatment’ to see if there would be increased efficacy.

f) The study concluded that a ‘cosmetic response was seen only in 18% of the patients’. This figure is way too low to call it a successful study. Besides, only 65 patients were involved, many of which dropped out of the study before it was completed, due to the lack of results. So it was hardly a successful or controlled study.

g) No control or placebo group was engaged.

h) The study also concluded that the use of oral Minoxidil (Loniten) was ‘unlikely to be cosmetically affective in the majority of patients…’.

i) The patient group comprised 27 men and 38 women. This is unwise because women respond in a vastly different way to hair regrowth treatments, and women have a much higher success rate at hair regrowth than men. So this study is not a sound representation of how Loniten can be used for men.

j) At each visit by these test patients, they had their pulse, blood pressure, and weight monitored. They were each on a super-low intake of salt (2 grams of sodium only) in their diet. For each patient, cardiac auscultation was performed, and doctors looked for evidence of edema, headaches, depression, or lethargy. I point this out to note that Mr Cohen does not take any of these factors into account. He does not realise the seriousness of Loniten, and does not place his clients under any such monitors. Loniten can cause heart failure. The doctors in this study knew this, and that is why they also said that, ‘Laboratory studies obtained at each visit included a complete blood cell count, serum electrolyte values, liver enzyme levels, serum creatinine concentration, and gross and microscopic urinalysis. Echocardiograms were obtained at baseline, six months, and 12 months, and thereafter only as indicated by physical examination or electrocardiographic changes. Scalp biopsies were performed at baseline and at six months. Serum minoxidil levels were monitored at each visit for the first 12 to 18 months of treatment. Minoxidil assays of serum and scalp biopsy tissue were performed as previously described.’ Mr Cohen does not seem to understand that such precautions were necessary because the use of oral Minoxidil is no child’s play. Sadly, he wanted me to take Loniten, without any such checks and balances. Besides, it is not approved full stop!

k) AND NOW FOR THE PUNCH LINE: The study was never looking into the use of oral Minoxidil. It was not trying to find out if people should eventually take Loniten. The study was trying to look into the 0.1% of the population suffering Alopecia Areata (where just circular spots of hair fall off the scalp) and if topical minoxidil would and could ever be effective. The study was wondering if there was anything blocking the minoxidil at the scalp-level. It determined that even if doctors were to bypass the scalp (just as a hypothetical example) the patients would not achieve a meaningful response.

THE KING OF PUFF

So we can see that Mr Cohen had no regard for my health. He had no regard for the TGA. He had no regard for the law. He had no regard for my doctor and my specialist. Mr Cohen just wanted me to break all the rules and put my health and my life at risk, for his profit. When I challenged him to show me any proof that Loniten works, he sent me that study, which, as you can see from the points above, does not even recommend oral Minoxidil (Loniten) and did not even set out to consider if Loniten ought to be used, and it was not even for people with my kind of hair loss, so it was completely useless, pointless, and irrelevant, and it did not even support his claims.

In a meeting with Mr Samuel Faraj Cohen of IHRB, he said to me that he wanted me to take all the medications at ‘full blast’. That was his idea of getting my hair to grow back. Full-blast equates to super dangerous, illegal, non-approved medications at overdose levels, without any regard for my health. His full-blast treatment was his way of blasting huge profits into his pocket.

All that fluff, puff, and puffery was negligent and unscientific and downright dangerous. So I conclude that Mr Cohen had no regard for anyone’s intelligence… not even his own.

P.S. I even said to Mr Cohen that there is no long-term study into the use of Minoxidil, Retin-A, Finasteride, and Loniten. He said that yes there was a long-term study… his own. He said that he has 39 years of experience and that he has been doing this for 39 years, and that doctors say to him that he knows more about hair than anyone else, including doctors. On the one hand, when something goes wrong, Mr Cohen blames the client’s doctors, and when doctors say to steer clear of the IHRB treatment, Mr Cohen says that doctors know nothing. So he wants us to take his lead, on the thrust of 39 years of malpractice. You might wonder how many people have been affected, and why they might not have reported him to the authorities. This is an interesting question. In part, I think it’s because most of his clients have no idea that they should link their ailments with Mr Cohen’s treatment. I spoke with one young man who had been undergoing IHRB’s treatment, and that young man had no idea about the potential side-effects. So I started to list some for him, and each time I mentioned a side-effect, the young man would interrupt me with, ‘Oh my God, yes, I suffer testicular pain… Oh my God yes, I have breast tenderness… wow I have been feeling dizzy… gee yes I have been short of breath…’ and so he went on, and also said, ‘Gosh yes, I have been suffering erectile disfunction but I have not been able to tell my doctor. I have been embarrassed about it… I had no idea that it could be from Sam’s medications!’┬áThe young man had no idea that the two could be related. Just no idea whatsoever. Many people who might be affected by the IHRB treatment might not realise the link! I guess a full-scale client interview might reveal just how Sam Cohen is affecting people’s health. No doubt there’s a lot of huffing and puffing still to come.

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 & Beauty.

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