Are You Paying More For This Product Than You Need...

Have you heard of the “pink tax” before? It’s gaining traction as it rises to the surface, but in a nutshell: it’s a term used to describe a higher markup on products marketed to women, even if their contents are the same for men. This is often seen with personal care products like shaving cream, razors, skin and hair care products. At our Nashville office, we hear our patients bemoaning this time and time again!

Today, we’re going to look at some research that studied whether this was the case when it came to minoxidil products. Minoxidil is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved over-the-counter topical medication for alopecia, marketed and sold to men and women. Approximately 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States have alopecia, and hair loss treatments represented a global market valued at $7.2 billion in 2015!

While there have been many studies documenting gender-based price differences in the past (a 2015 report found that women’s personal products were 13% more expensive than equivalent men’s products), there hadn’t been any done for minoxidil products. A study published in JAMA Dermatology investigated the price difference by gender for minoxidil products at six of the largest national-chain pharmacies, and they found that...

There was no significant difference between price per 30 mL of women’s 2% “regular-strength” and men’s 5% “extra-strength” minoxidil solution, with no identified differences in inactive ingredients! Minoxidil 5% foam was priced 40% higher per 30 ml when marketed to women compared with men, again with no identified differences in inactive ingredients.

We can’t say our team Nashville dermatologists is surprised, but it’s just one more study to validate the suspicion that women pay more similar products compared with men. This is one more example of women getting the short end of the stick, but it’s good for us all to recognize it and see what alternatives are out there. Our recommendation? Talk to your Nashville dermatologist or provider and see if you can have minoxidil formulated in an easier manner for you! As well, always look at the cost of minoxidil foam by price, and not packaging - this will help you avoid paying higher costs than you need to.

Need help with your combating hair loss? Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JAMA Dermatology

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD

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