To the Editor.—
At a recent live "educational" videoconference for dermatologists, it was announced that the makers of topical minoxidil (Rogaine) are soon to embark on a multimillion dollar advertising campaign direct to the public. While not mentioning minoxidil itself, this campaign would proclaim the availability of a medication approved for the treatment of male pattern baldness. The public would be directed to see a "physician or dermatologist" for more information. With the prospect of potentially millions of patients requesting more information, it is vital that we have a very clear understanding of the data demonstrating the effectiveness of this agent.The company's 12-page advertisement (appearing in every journal and "throw-away" crossing my desk in the past month) summarizes the results of the multicentered double-blind placebo-controlled studies: at 4 months, minoxidil was "significantly superior to placebo" by hair counts, and investigators' evaluation of hair growth demonstrated "a highly significant difference"
Feldman SR. Is Minoxidil (Rogaine) Clinically Effective?. Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(4):572. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670160120037