Category Archives: Propecia

Generic Finasteride Cost

Update: There are now various online sources that offer coupons with huge discounts for drugs such as generic Finasteride if you are purchasing them with cash and without any insurance. You need to print the coupon and take it to the pharmacy with your prescription.

Finasteride 1mg (Nongeneric = Propecia)

In November 2013, US-based Merck’s patent on hair loss drug Propecia (made up of Finasteride 1mg) finally expired. Thereafter, numerous generic versions of Finasteride 1mg have come into the US market at a small fraction of the cost of Propecia. I assume the same is true in other countries and blog readers are free to post their findings in the comments to this post.

Today, I called or visited a few major pharmacies in the US to get more information on the cost and country of origin of manufacture of these generic drugs, as well as to find out the name of the company that manufactures these products. If I buy a generic drug, at the very least, I want to check out information on the company that is manufacturing the product and try to make sure that the company has not been frequently cited for bad practices or worse.

Several pharmacists I talked to were uncertain about whether a company made or just packaged these products, but I tried to check my findings online and hopefully there are no errors in the below table.

Finasteride 5mg (Nongeneric = Proscar)

It should also be noted that Merck’s patent on benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH — aka prostate enlargement) drug Proscar (made up of Finasteride 5mg) expired as far back as June 2006. Thousands of people have since been purchasing generic versions of Finasteride 5mg and then cutting each pill into 4 pieces with a pill cutter (i.e., essentially taking 1.25mg of Finasteride per day to treat baldness rather than BPH). This method always works out to be a lot cheaper than purchasing generic Finasteride 1mg pills.

Most hair transplant surgeons are willing to prescribe generic Finasteride 5mg pills to combat hair loss, even though the 5mg dosage has officially only been approved to treat BPH. Therefore I also decided to add information on generic Finasteride 5mg in the below table.  I have been taking generic 5mg Finasteride pills for years to help my hair, although I take the 1 quarter (1.25 mg) pill every two days rather than daily.  FYI — The half-life of Finasteride is 6 hours.

Generic Finasteride 1mg and 5mg prices

According to a pharmacist I talked to at Walmart, there are numerous types of discount cards available these days that will get you $50 off a prescription. She said she was not allowed to tell me where to get such cards, but they are easy to find.

Also note that at Walgreens, the 30 generic Finasteride 5mg pills made by Teva Pharmaceutical (Israel) will only cost $10 rather than $84 if you enroll in the Walgreens prescription savings program for $20 per year. Other pharmacies probably also have savings programs.

Note: Prices and brands at the same pharmacy chains may vary by state. Also keep in mind that many stores will price match.

Pharmacy NameGeneric Finasteride (1mg) — 30 pillsCompany Name (Country of Manufacture)Generic Finasteride (5mg) — 30 pillsCompany Name (Country of Manufacture)
Costco$13Actavis (India)$12Aurobindo Pharma (India)
CVS$70Camber Pharmaceuticals (India)$82Camber Pharmaceuticals (India)
Rite Aid$80Aurobindo Pharma (India)$76Aurobindo Pharma (India)
Safeway$60Actavis (India)$40Accord (India)
Sam’s Club$37Camber Pharmaceuticals (India)$26Actavis (India)
Target$83Aurobindo Pharma (India)$9Camber Pharmaceuticals (India)
Walgreens$80Dr. Reddy’s (India)$84Teva Pharmaceutical (Israel)
Walmart$44Hetero Drugs (India)$9Camber Pharmaceuticals (India)

Propecia (Finasteride 1mg) and Proscar (Finasteride 5mg) Prices

Note that if you do not want to take generic Finasteride, the cheapest price for 30 pills of Propecia (made by US-based Merck) is $30 at Walgreens if you are enrolled in their prescription savings program. 30 pills of Proscar (made by Merck) will also cost $30 at Walgreen’s if you are enrolled in their prescription savings program. I wish I had known about this program before!

For most people, 30 pills of Proscar will last for 4 months after cutting each pill into 4 pieces and taking 1 daily. For me, it will last for 8 months, so I would rather purchase Proscar at this low price rather than generics.

If Walgreen’s stops offering this discounted price, the typical price of 30 pills of Propecia at most pharmacies is around $100 and the typical price of 30 pills of Proscar at most pharmacies is $150-$200. At that point, generics are a no-brainer.

The generic pills that I currently use are the 5mg ones made by Camber Pharmaceuticals. I hope to send one of the pills to a lab to test and make sure that they are identical to Proscar. A local custom pharmacy that I contacted did not offer such a service. Perhaps I need to go and approach a university’s chemistry lab?

Photo of my generic Finasteride 5mg pill:

Generic Finasteride

Do Finasteride and Minoxidil work?

On this blog, I have purposely limited discussion about the two main approved existing medications (Finasteride and Minoxidil) for treating hair loss. I consider those treatments to be subpar in the modern world considering the tremendous progress that has been made in science and technology over the past several decades.

Although this post may seem anti-hair-loss-medication thus far, it is also important for readers to take a look at the best case scenarios. For that, I leave you with a collection of before and after patient photos showing success with Finasteride and/or Minoxidil.

Do Propecia and Rogaine Work to Grow Hair?

The problems with Finasteride (brand name Propecia) and Minoxidil (brand name Rogaine) can be summed up as follows:

  1. Neither of the two medications work on everyone.
  2. Even when they work, they tend to rarely ever grow lengthy robust hair strands. And they almost never grow decent quality hair on totally bald regions of the scalp.
  3. They can both cause side effects, with Finasteride being the more dangerous of the two in that regard.
  4. It seems that for most people, the medications stop working after a number of years.
  5. You have to keep buying and using these medications permanently, or else any gains go away. Besides the significant expense involved, this is a nuisance since you have to regularly replenish supplies. If you travel away from home, you have to remember to take an appropriate quantity of these medications with you.
  6. In the case of Finasteride you need a doctor’s prescription, which is yet one more expense and hassle. I used to get my prescription from a hair transplant doctor. The last time I had to renew it, he charged me $50 for the visit plus wasted one hour of my time trying to convince me to get a small hair transplant. Luckily, I only take one pill every two days, and won’t need another prescription for a while.

Moreover, even I have seen some success in hair growth with Finasteride and Minoxidil. This despite only taking a quarter tab of 5mg Finasteride (Proscar) every two days, and not using Minoxidil every day as recommended.

However, I think that these medications are only giving me some short hair and an appearance of coverage in certain lighting. Overall, almost none of my hair can grow more than 2 inches anymore, and I am sure neither of these two medications will give me back most of the hair that I have already lost for more than a few years.