Women Pay More than Men for Hair Loss Drug
Hereditary hair loss—also called male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness, and androgenic alopecia—affects about 80 million men and women in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. A new analysis published online in JAMA Dermatology suggests a common treatment for this type of hair loss—minoxidil foam, Rogaine–costs an average of 40 percent more from women than men, even though both versions of the product contain the same drug strength and inactive ingredients.
It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to brand and market products for men and women differently and set gender-based consumer prices differences. A 2015 report from the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) showed that women pay an average of 13 percent more than men for equivalent personal care products. However, this is the first analysis that compares medication pricing for men and women, according to Jules Lipoff, lead author of the study.
One justification for this price discrepancy could be that women get more from the product, as they are directed to use it only once per day, while men use more at twice per day. But researchers found this still leaves women paying more per ounce on average. When it comes to foam products containing five percent minoxidil, men’s products are the better deal.