Hello Dr. Rassman,
I’ve read from old topics that many of your patients would travel to Mexico to purchase Finasteride before it was approved in the states. Do you still have patients that do this? There is obvious financial benefits from purchasing the medication outside of the U.S., but what about the products validity? When it comes to hair loss, you surely would like the product to be authentic. What is your thoughts on this? Thanks for your time.
I would think that when it comes to any medication you would want it to be authentic. There are many credible drug manufacturers outside the US, and you need to be sure that the drugs you are buying is from one of them. Here’s the top 50, ranked by revenue — List of pharmaceutical companies. If you buy Propecia in Mexico and it says Propecia on the bottle and looks like Merck’s product, it is probably the real drug. Granted, the packaging can be faked so we must all still be aware of drug counterfeiting. That is a real worldwide problem, so you should use your best judgment.
There is one way to get finasteride in the US from your local pharmacy much cheaper than Propecia, and that is by cutting the generic 5mg finasteride into 4 or 5 pieces. You need to have a physician willing to prescribe you a prostate drug (Proscar) to get that prescription, though. The 1mg generic (like the Finpecia pictured above) is still unavailable in the US due to patent laws.