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From meals to beauty products, prescription boxes are all the rage, but now there’s a new type that is raising an eyebrow; a subscription box just for men which contains prescription medication for hair loss and erectile dysfunction. The company asks men to go online and complete a questionnaire, post some photos, and then for only $5, an online doctor will issue a prescription! The boxes cost a little over $30 per month.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon notes the marketing is done well, however, there is a reason doctors don’t prescribe these drugs without first getting a full medical history and physical. ER physician Dr. Travis Stork takes issue with the one-size-fits-all approach. The dosage should not be the same for all men. Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra adds that there are also potential side effect and interactions that may occur without a doctor looking at the patient prior to giving a prescription. Some hair loss drugs, for example, require prostate monitoring, something men are not getting if they are going through this online subscription.
Dr. Travis says he has never “rubberstamped” a prescription, and does not like that these boxes do just that. Dr. Ordon says he hopes the companies ask important questions such as "Do you have any allergies?" and "What medications are you taking?" prior to issuing these drugs.
Dr. Batra offers an alternative solution to these companies; why not require patients to get a prescription from their actual doctor and then fax it in? This will still allow users a more affordable option but it will be done in a safer way. Dr. Travis acknowledges that mail-order prescriptions are the way of the future; they are usually cheaper and you can get a longer supply at a time.