What You Should Know Before Purchasing Hair Loss Medication in Canada

In Canada, as many as 85% of all men will experience hair thinning or balding before reaching the age of 50. Though male pattern baldness is a common health concern for many Canadians, no man chooses or desires to experience hair loss throughout their life. What many of these individuals may not realize is that they do have options to treat this ever-so-stressful occurrence. 

Hair loss treatments include medications, such as finasteride and minoxidil. Finasteride is a tablet-medication that increases testosterone levels in your body, which increases hair growth on the scalp, while minoxidil is a topical-medication that increases blood flow to the scalp resulting in the growth of hair follicles. 

In Canada, both medications are frequently utilized and relied upon to help treat male pattern baldness in men of all ages. For this report, we at YourMD.ca collected data samples from 65 different pharmacies, in 28 cities, across 8 provinces in Canada to compare and analyze the prices of 8 similar hair loss medications that one can use to help treat male pattern baldness. The hair loss products that we primarily focused on throughout our pharmaceutical research and conducting this study were:

  • Generic finasteride (1mg and 5mg tablets) 
  • Propecia finasteride (1mg tablets)
  • Proscar finasteride (5mg tablets)
  • Generic minoxidil (2% and 5% topical foam)
  • Rogaine minoxidil (2% and 5% topical foam)

Throughout this report, we will be answering the questions relating to finasteride and minoxidil that the majority of our patients have come to us with regarding the pricing, strength, pharmacy, and location of the various treatment options. As well as, ultimately, coming to a conclusion on how to save the most of your money when purchasing these medications in your province. 

Should I purchase the generic brand or brand-name to get the best pricing and results?

To put it plain and simple, generic drugs and brand-name drugs are the same products, not accounting for pricing. The two types, in any given circumstance, have the exact same dosage, strength, results, side effects, and risks as each other, as the pharmacological effects are completely equal.  The only difference between the generic brand and brand-name is the pricing of the products, which is solely based on the capital and marketing tactics of larger-scale companies. Since that is cleared up now, let’s take a dive into the Canadian pharmaceutical prices between generic and brand-name hair loss medications. 

The data above is accurately sampled throughout Canadian pharmacies, representing the average retail prices for finasteride and minoxidil products. The trend of the data was that brand-name medications for the four products sampled were seen to be more costly for consumers to purchase when compared to the generic medication. When dialing in on the specific products, purchasing the generic finasteride medication, presents you with the ability to save between $28.00–$52.00 depending on which mg is purchased. Additionally, when purchasing either the 2% or 5% generic minoxidil medications, you have the opportunity to save between $19.00–$33.00. Thus, in conclusion, when deciding between purchasing generic medication or brand-name medication, the most optimal route for saving money, while receiving the same benefits and results, would be going the generic route. 

Which strength of medication would save me the most money and give the best results?

Should I purchase the 1mg finasteride or the 5mg finasteride?

To understand which strength of finasteride would provide the best results financially and physically, we must understand the true difference between 1mg tablets and the 5mg. Finasteride pills can be prescribed in a 1mg dose or a 5mg dose. 1mg finasteride is solely used to help treat men who are experiencing male pattern baldness, while 5mg finasteride, can also be used to help men dealing with the same health issue, but due to its high strength, it is predominantly prescribed to help treat men who are experiencing prostate enlargement. 

By analyzing the above graph, it is evident that the 1mg finasteride is priced considerably higher across Canadian provinces when compared to the price of the 5mg tablets. You may be curious as to why you can get a larger dosage with the 5mg tablets, but the 1mg is more expensive to purchase. The reason for this is truly unknown, but with the 5mg prescription, you have the ability to cut each pill into 1.25mg quarters, significantly reducing the dollar amount of each dose. Our findings showed that on average, each 1mg pill in Canada costs $1.72, while each 5mg pill costs $0.92. In addition to the $0.92, if you quarter the 5mg pill, the actual cost per dose would be cut down to $0.23, resulting in a total price of $6.96 per month, compared to the 1mg monthly price of $51.60. Thus, in order to save you the most money, as well as giving you the best results possible, it is highly suggested that you purchase the 5mg finasteride and go through the process of quartering each pill.

Should I purchase the 2% minoxidil or the 5% minoxidil? 

In order to know which minoxidil solution you should purchase from your local pharmacy, it is best to understand the main dissimilarity between the 2% and the 5%. In the simplest terms, the 5% minoxidil solution truly provides better results than the 2%. An individual who is topically utilizing the 5% solution will see stronger, and faster results regarding hair follicle growth in comparison to another individual using the 2% topical solution. Though one can apply the 2% foam twice per day to mathematically reach the 5% dosage, it is just not as effective, plain and simple. 

As we reference the graph above, the data shows a strong difference in prices as the 5% minoxidil has a much higher price when compared to the 2% solution. Though the 2% medication looks much more attractive for your wallet when it is graphically displayed, the truth is that the 5% minoxidil is ultimately the better purchase to make financially, and we will explain why. The upfront cost for the 2% minoxidil is less expensive at a national average of $47.49, when compared to the 5% medication valued at an average of $104.31. This price difference is partially due to the weaker strength in the 2% minoxidil, but the main difference is that you are receiving 1/3 of the amount that you would get with the 5% solution.  To be clearer on the issue, the 2% solution only comes in a singular 60mL bottle, while 5% comes in a 180mL bundle of 3 bottles. Cost wise if you purchased 3 x 2% bottles, it would cost upwards to $143.00, but if you purchase the 3-pack of 5% bottles it would cost you around $104.50. If you are wanting to save the most money possible, you will purchase the 5%, 3-pack of minoxidil. Why? Well because you need to be consistently using the product as results tend to show after the first 6-months of using the medication. If you stop, so will hair growth. Thus, making the 3-packs more financially advantageous in the long run. 

Which has cheaper pharmaceutical products, an individual pharmacy or a chain pharmacy?

When it comes to filling up prescriptions, normal things to consider are attributes such as price, quantity, and as well as side effects, but do you ever stop and consider where you are picking up your medication, and if you are losing money each visit? Well in that case, there are 2 main types of pharmacies; individual pharmacies, and chain pharmacies, both with their own advantages for consumers. A couple benefits of independent pharmacies to take note of are: customer service and friendliness, as you tend to know your pharmacist on a more personal level; decreased wait times, as there are less patients, meaning less congestion; and customer prescription orders, as some individual pharmacies compound medication specifically catered towards you, the patient. Now, a couple benefits of chain pharmacies that you should consider are: proximity and convenience, as most chain pharmacies have a surplus of locations as well as longer hours; digital integration, as some pharmacies offer digital services to improve the customer experience; and one-stop shops, meaning they carry more than just prescriptions, giving the consumer the opportunity to pick up other non-pharmaceutical items they may need. Overall, each pharmacy has its own advantages over the other, so let’s take a closer look at the comparison between the two in regard to hair loss product pricing and saving yourself the most money possible. 

After conducting thorough Canadian market research, it isn’t quite evident which type of pharmacy will save you the most money, as the results are very tight in comparison. If we move our attention entirely towards the numerical data of hair loss medication, it shows an advantage towards individual pharmacies, having lower costs in 6 out of the 8 products we sampled. Though the price difference is not significant enough to show a definitive choice over the other, individual pharmacies show prices that approximate to 97% of the chain pharmacy prices, with an average cost saving of $1.95 for the 8 hair loss products in this study. Thus, after comparing hair loss medication prices between individual pharmacies and chain pharmacies, we see that when focusing strictly on pricing, there is little difference, and little cost savings when purchasing at an individual over a chain, so that decision will be left entirely up to you, the consumer. 

Which Canadian province will I be able to find the cheapest hair loss medication for myself?

There are about 42,000 licensed pharmacists working in over 10,000 pharmacies across Canada, so it is difficult to find the absolute lowest price for your medications to ensure you are saving the most money possible. But we did a small part of the search for you by using a small sample size of 65 pharmacies, across 9 provinces, we have been able to determine where you are generally most likely to find the lowest prices for your hair loss products. 

Now, the graph above may be somewhat difficult to digest due to the multiple variables, so we will break down the numbers for you. After speaking with Canadian pharmacists regarding their hair loss medication prices, it has allowed us to draw up a conclusion on where you will save the most money on; finasteride, 1mg and 5mg, and minoxidil, 2% and 5%. When focusing on finasteride prescriptions, our research has shown that Alberta has the lowest prices when it comes to purchasing the product. For the 1mg tablets, the province showed an average price of $49.20, which is $2.20 less than the Canada average of $51.61, a 4.2% reduction. When looking at the 5mg tablets, the Alberta average was priced at $25.21, calculated at 10.5% lower than the Canadian average at $27.85, a $2.64 average saving amount on the prescription. Now moving our attention to the average price of minoxidil products located across Canadian pharmacies. Our research showed that provinces in Eastern Canada presented lower prices for its minoxidil solutions. For the minoxidil 2% solution, New Brunswick showed an average price of $41.00 for the medication, 15.8% less than the national average, providing consumers with an overall saving of $6.50 on the product. While the 5% solution in Nova Scotia showed a significantly lower price at $83.57, calculated to 24.8% less than Canada’s $104.31 average, a saving of about $20.75. To conclude, according to our primary data, the ideal province in Canada to purchase a finasteride prescription would be in Alberta, and to purchase low cost minoxidil solutions would be found in the eastern provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. 

So how will I save the most money on finasteride or minoxidil medications in Canada?

At YourMD.ca, we wanted to conduct thorough pharmaceutical market research in Canada to help consumers receive answers relating to finasteride and minoxidil products to help treat male pattern baldness. We focused our attention predominantly on discovering the overall pricing for the two medications; brand, strength, pharmacy type, and geographical location, in which consumers should lean towards in order to receive the best price possible for their hair loss treatment. After connecting with 65 pharmacies, in 28 cities, across 8 provinces in Canada, we have come to a conclusion on how to save the most money on a finasteride and minoxidil medication. As a consumer you should purchase the generic brand for both finasteride and minoxidil medications, you should purchase the 5mg finasteride prescription, or the 5% minoxidil solution depending on your situation. You can purchase these products in either an individual pharmacy or a chain pharmacy, and if you live in Alberta you are in luck, as you will have the ability to receive the lowest costing finasteride products in Canada. If you reside in the provinces of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia, you have the ability to obtain the lowest priced minoxidil solutions across the country. 

If you are an individual who is suffering from male pattern baldness, you have the opportunity to receive a virtual, affordable medical consultation with one of our registered physicians, by visiting us at www.YourMD.ca to get started. Our medical experts have the ability to consult, assess, and prescribe you to various hair loss treatments no matter where you are located in Canada. It is a quick and easy way to receive the medical attention that you need. 

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are looking to use finesteride or minoxidil to treat your hair loss, consult with a doctor first. In fact, you can get started with a free online consultation right now