Propecia is a prescription drug that is used to treat male pattern baldness (sometimes called “androgenetic alopecia”). This type of hair loss is the most common cause of baldness in men, with around half of all men experiencing some degree of male pattern baldness by age 40.
It is inherited, and a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a key factor in this type of hair loss. Propecia prevents testosterone from being converted to DHT.
Finding out how much popular prescription drugs cost can be frustrating. Prices vary depending on region, pharmacy, and various discount programs. Trying to query a search engine online about “lifestyle” drugs like Propecia generally turns up thousands of results from dodgy internet vendors who may or may not be selling the genuine product.
Popularity of Propecia
Propecia sales top $400 million yearly, making it a top selling drug for the pharmaceutical company Merck. Propecia is a drug that must be taken consistently over the course of several months in order for any hair loss benefits to become apparent. Some men find that the drug slows hair loss, while others experience cessation or even reversal of hair loss with Propecia. Once a man stops taking Propecia, the former pattern of hair loss will resume.
Propecia as a Lifestyle Drug
Propecia started out as a drug used to treat a condition called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), but users discovered their hair loss slowed, stopped, or reversed while they were taking it.
Propecia gained FDA approval in 1997 for use as a treatment for male pattern baldness. It joined the ranks of “blockbuster” drugs — along with later popular lifestyle drugs — like Viagra and Botox. These drugs are not used to cure disease, but to enhance lifestyle, and they make up a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Such medications are considered safe and effective over a large population of users, and they have become increasingly popular as it has become more acceptable to use prescription drugs to enhance everyday life. Lifestyle drugs include treatments for erectile dysfunction, facial wrinkles, baldness, and even short eyelashes.
Lifestyle drugs are big moneymakers for pharmaceutical companies because they usually don’t have to negotiate with insurance providers over prescription drug coverage and costs for these drugs, and because people use them long term. Costs add up over time, so naturally consumers want to find the most cost-efficient way of obtaining them.
Factors to Consider Beyond Pharmacy Prices
When calculating the cost of a prescription drug, the price quoted by a pharmacy is only part of the picture. Propecia is a prescription drug, so if you want to buy it from your local pharmacy, you will have to visit your physician and ask for a prescription. If you have health insurance, your co-pay for a visit to your physician is probably close to $40. Add in the time you have to take off from work, and the price goes higher. With an average doctor’s office wait time of 21 minutes before you ever set foot in an exam room, you may use up more of your sick leave or vacation time than you expect to.
If You Choose to Purchase Propecia Online
Major search engines do their best to keep legitimate websites at the top of search engine results, but with lifestyle drugs like Propecia, it is an uphill battle. The recent “pharma hack” caused many websites to be compromised without the knowledge of site owners, attaching spam links for Viagra and other blockbuster drugs (including Propecia) to respected websites and, in some cases, compromising websites’ rankings while sending spam sites to the top of the results.
Any time you try to search for legitimate online sources for lifestyle drugs, you risk getting a page full of obviously risky sites. Click on one and you could end up with malware on your computer. Buy something from one and you could end up having your credit card information stolen or getting a counterfeit drug in return. Considering that counterfeit drugs have been found to contain everything from paint to rat poison, it’s a risk that nobody should take.
Buying Propecia Online Safely
To safely buy lifestyle drugs like Propecia online, look for sites with actual street addresses in the United States. These sites should contract with pharmacists and physicians who are licensed in all 50 states, and they should sell only genuine, name brand pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, although U.S. residents tend to implicitly trust our neighbors to the north, even purchasing drugs online from Canada is risky because there is no way of knowing whether the drugs have come through a secure supply pipeline or not.
It is also important that you use only sites with the highest level of encryption so that you can be confident that your credit card information and your medical information will not be compromised in any way. Your medical information should be accessible only to the physician who is reviewing your case. Should you have questions, only your basic customer information — such as your name, address, and phone number — should be viewable by customer service specialists. Any website you choose to utilize should never sell or share your information with third parties.
Online facilitators like eDrugstore.com have safely provided name-brand prescription medications prescribed by U.S.-licensed physicians and dispensed by U.S.-licensed pharmacists to customers for over a decade. To order a drug such as Propecia, you need to complete a free online medical review. If the drug is appropriate for you, a prescription is issued and the drug is dispensed immediately. Depending on the time of day you order, your prescription order may be shipped the same day. When you order, you can select overnight, 2-day, or priority (3 to 5 days) shipping.
Hundreds of thousands of men in the U.S. and elsewhere have safely ordered Propecia and other medications through eDrugstore.com for years. It is a convenient, cost-effective alternative for obtaining prescription lifestyle drugs quickly and safely.
Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+