Association Between Gender and Drug Cost for Over-the-Counter Minoxidil

    August 2017 in “JAMA Dermatology
    Mackenzie R. Wehner, Kevin T. Nead, Jules B. Lipoff
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    TLDR Women pay more for the same 5% minoxidil foam than men, but prices for liquid solutions are similar.
    The study investigated gender-based price differences for over-the-counter minoxidil, a medication for androgenetic alopecia. Data was collected from six national-chain pharmacies in four states, and prices were compared for women's 2% and men's 5% minoxidil solutions, as well as for women's and men's 5% minoxidil foam. The results showed no significant price difference per 30 mL between the women's 2% solution and the men's 5% solution. However, for the 5% foam products, there was a significant 40% increase in price for the product marketed to women compared to the product marketed to men ($11.27/30 mL vs $8.05/30 mL; P < .001). The study concluded that while the price for minoxidil solutions was similar for both genders, women were paying significantly more for the same 5% minoxidil foam medication, despite using it less frequently than men. This may reflect a broader issue of gender-based pricing in medications.
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