News stories


Levine D. FDA requires disclosure of suicide risk for anti-baldness drug. 2022 Jun 10.


[TV] NZZ (Switzerland). Suddenly Bald. 2021 Dec 2.

Ault A. New Finasteride Lawsuit Brings Renewed Attention to Psychiatric, ED Adverse Event Reports. Medscape Medical News. 2021 Sep 23.

Pierson B. Group sues to have hair-loss drug Propecia pulled from market. Reuters. 2021 Sep 8.

[TV] WDR (Germany). Tricks of the Beauty Industry. 2021 Jun 30.

Levine D, Terhune C. Merck anti-baldness drug Propecia has long trail of suicide reports, records show. Reuters. 2021 Feb 3.

Reuters and Kekatos M. Merck KNEW its anti-baldness drug Propecia was linked to depression and reports of suicide but decided not to update the medication’s warning label, documents show. Daily Mail. 2021 Feb 3.

[TV] NDR (Germany). The Side Effects of Finasteride Are Underestimated. 2021 Jan 26.

Levine D. Judge orders Merck documents on anti-baldness drug Propecia unsealed. Reuters. 2021 Jan 25.


Brown KV & De Vynck G. Hims Built a $1.6 Billion Online Empire by Pushing Prescriptions. Bloomberg Businessweek. 30 Oct 2020.


Levine D. Reuters asks judge to release secret Propecia documents. Reuters. 2019 Sep 12.

Levine D. Court let Merck hide secrets about a popular drug’s risks. Reuters Investigates. 2019 Sep 11.

Gallagher J. Fertility paradox in male beauty quest. BBC News. 2019 May 28.

Brown KV, De Vynck G, Langreth R. Generic Viagra Online Sellers May Not Offer a Great Deal. Bloomberg Businessweek. 2019 May 22.


Topol S. Sons and Daughters: The village where girls turn into boys. Harper’s. 2017 Aug.

Fox M. Hair Loss Drug Propecia Carries Risk of Losing Something Else. NBC News. 2017 Mar 10.

Grady D. Trump Takes the Hair-Growth Drug Propecia. How Does It Work? New York Times. 2017 Feb 3.


[TV] France 5. Report on the suicide of PFS patient Romain Mathieu. Santé: The magazine for health. 2016 Nov 24.

[TV] VRT-TV (Belgium) – Koppen. The Wonderhair Pill. 2016 May 26.


Mosley M. The extraordinary case of the Guevedoces. BBC News. 2015 Sep 20.


Payne E. ‘Hair loss pills made my penis shrink’: Man ends up in psychiatric unit after becoming severely depressed about the side-effects. Daily Mail. 2014 Jun 24.


Collier R. Propecia lawsuits: the lasting effects of delayed drug warnings. CMAJ. 2013 Jul 9;185(10):E455-E456. doi:10.1503/cmaj.109-4488

[TV] KPBS Media. Sexual Problems Sometimes Irreversible Side Effect of Hair Loss Drug Propecia. 2013 May 17.


Silver M. Hair-loss drug a downer in the bedroom. Sydney Morning Herald. 2012 Sep 27.

[Blog post] Propecia victim starts hunger strike in front of Merck headquarters in the United States. The health risks of taking finasteride. 2012 Sep 5.

Peige J. ICE agent ravaged by Propecia, stripped of badge, holds Merck CEO responsible. [available at Internet Archive]. 2012 Aug 22.

Enck P, Häuser W. Beware the Nocebo Effect. New York Times. 2012 Aug 12.

[TV] CNN. Man says Propecia made him impotent – CNN Weekend Shows. 2012 Aug 5.

Edelman S. Software engineer claims generic version of Propecia turned him into a woman. New York Post. 2012 Jul 22.

[TV] Propecia Linked to Sexual Side Effects. ABC World News. 2012 Jul 12.

[TV] Report links hair loss drug with sexual dysfunction. NBC Today. 2012 Jul 12.

[TV] Propecia Hidden Risk? Propecia Linked to Long-Term Sexual Dysfunction. NBC Tonight. 2012 Jul.

Sifferlin A. Propecia Problems: Baldness Drug Linked with Long-Lasting Sexual Side Effects. TIME. 2012 Jul 12.


Williams Adams R. Lawsuit: Man wanted hair, lost sex drive. The Ledger (Lakeland, FL). 2011 May 16.

Williams Adams R. Man wanted hair, but got the side effects, lawsuit says. The Ledger (Lakeland, FL). 2011 May 14.

[TV] Baillon J. Hair Today, What’s Gone Tomorrow? FOX 9 Investigators. Minneapolis, MN. 2011 May 5.

[TV] Stahl S. Health Watch: Popular Drug Warning. CBS 3 Philadelphia. 2011 May 3.

Reinberg S. Sexual side effects from Propecia, Avodart may be irreversible. USA TODAY. 2011 Mar 11.

Buck R. Lawsuit Blames Hair Loss Drug For Sexual Dysfunction And Mental Problems. Hartford Courant. 2011 Mar 3.


Mundie S. Baldness drug Propecia ‘risking men’s sexual health’. BBC News. 2010 Dec 21.


[TV] Propecia / finasteride: Permanent side effects official in EU. Swedish television news program (organization not indicated). 2009 Aug.


Schieszer J. Propecia, Infertility Link Suspected. Renal & Urology News. 2008 Jan 1.


[TV] Permanent sexual side effects of Propecia / finasteride [official title unknown]. 2007. Swedish television documentary (organization not indicated).


Conis E. The case of the ex-girls. Los Angeles Times. 2006 Oct 16.

Local wins push Saatchis to top spot. Media: Asia’s Media & Marketing Newspaper. March 2006:6. [Summary below]


Silverthorne S. Side Effects: The Case of Propecia. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. 2004 Nov 22.

Hurley D. Weighing the Risks of New Plumage. New York Times. 2004 Jun 15.


Do we need lifestyle drugs? BBC News. 2003 Jan 3.


Keller-Henman N. Hair loss, internet gain. Chemist & Druggist. 2002 Aug 24;257(6356):25.

UK launch for baldness pill. BBC News. 2002 Mar 4.


Mand A. Rogaine’s loss is Propecia’s gain(e). Advertising Age. 2001 Jul 16;72(29):37. [Summary below]

Baldness pill ‘passing early tests’. BBC News. 2001 Jun 11.


Goetzl D. Propecia aims $2 mil push at gay men. Advertising Age. 2000 Mar 20;71(12):8. [Summary below]

O’Neil J. VITAL SIGNS: THERAPIES; Expert Advice to Bald Men: Get Over It. New York Times. 2000 Jan 25.


Goetzl D. Merck DTX pharmacy circular ads break new ground. Advertising Age. 1999 Sep 27;70(40):10. [Summary below]

Pear R. Drug Companies Getting F.D.A. Reprimands for False or Misleading Advertising. New York Times. 1999 Mar 28.

Genaro E. Bad consumer. Brandweek. 1999 Mar 15;40(11):46.

Morrow DJ. New Profits in Old Bottles; Companies Find Bonus in Drugs That Cure Several Ills. New York Times. 1999 Mar 19.

Dickinson JG. DTC boosts Propecia sales. Medical Marketing & Media. 1999;34(1):40.


Herman R. The ‘Lifestyle’ Phenomenon: Pills to Enhance Well-Being. New York Times. 1998 Nov 18.

Freudenheim M. THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Influencing Doctor’s Orders. New York Times. 1998 Nov 17.

Morrow DJ. The Elixirs Of Life Style; Drugs Can Spark Sex Lives and Grow Hair, So Why Are Some Sales Listless?. New York Times. 1998 Nov 11.

Villarosa L. RX MONEY; Remedies for Hair Loss. New York Times. 1998 Oct 20.

Dickinson JG. Merck’s Propecia ad is ‘misleading.’ Medical Marketing & Media. 1998 Jun;33(6):36. [Summary below]

Nuland S. Ideas & Trends: The Rush to Enhancement; Medicine Isn’t Just for the Sick Anymore. New York Times. 1998 May 10.

Wilke M. Merck kicks off $60 mil DTC push for Rogaine rival. Advertising Age. 1998 Apr 20;69(16):4. [Summary below]

Morrow DJ. New Baldness Drug Is Older Product at a Premium Price. New York Times. 1998 Jan 20.

Room at the top? Propecia and Rogaine fight to fill it. Medical Marketing & Media. 1998 Jan;33(1):6. [Summary below]


Barron J. Head Games; A Pill Threatens A Growth Industry. New York Times. 1997 Dec 28.

Rampe D. Diary: Tossing that toupee. New York Times. 1997 Dec 28.

Langreth R. Merck’s Approval for Baldness Pill Starts Sales Battle With Pharmacia. Wall Street Journal. 23 Dec 1997.

Stolberg SG. A Pill for Male Pattern Baldness Wins Approval From the F.D.A.
New York Times. 1997 Dec 23.

Langreth R. Merck readies a media blitz for its new pill. Wall Street Journal. 1997 Dec 19.

Panel finds Merck’s Propecia effective, but not approvable. Medical Marketing & Media. 1997 Dec;32(12):26. [Summary below]

Wilke M. Rogaine extension, new Propecia heat up hair restorer market. Advertising Age. 1997 Dec 1;68(48):18.

Gone today, hair tomorrow? Newsweek. 1997 Nov 24;130(21):61.

Langreth R. Government Panel Discusses Merck’s Drug for Baldness. Wall Street Journal. 1997 Nov 14.

Tanouye E, Langreth R. Top Firms Must Prepare For Onslaught of Generics. Wall Street Journal. 1997 Aug 12.

Langreth R. How a Prostate Drug Became A New Treatment for Baldness. Wall Street Journal. 1997 Mar 20.


Meredith R. 2 Drug Companies Name Agencies. New York Times. 1996 Oct 9.

Hotline. Adweek Eastern Edition. 1996 Dec 7;37(41):6. [Excerpt below]

Tanouye E. FDA Says 214 Men Using Drug, Proscar, Develop a Side EffectWall Street Journal. 1996 Sep 12.


Freudenheim M. Proscar will likely be a billion-dollar megadrug. But what is the encore?: Keeping the Pipeline Filled at Merck. New York Times. 1992 Feb 16.

See also: Sources on the early history of finasteride


Source: EBSCO Business Source Complete database

Local wins…, 2006: …McCann Erickson massive Merck Propecia win kept it in the number two slot…

Mand, 2001: The article reports that hair loss, asthma and arthritis pain medications are the leading pharmaceutical products being advertised on the Internet… Merck and Co.’s Propecia hair-loss treatment is the top advertiser…

Goetzl, 2000: This article focuses on the utilization of specific gay men-targeted creative…by pharmaceutical marketer Merck & Co. Inc. in the U.S. The estimated 2.5 million to 2 million U.S. dollar campaign from Prime Access Inc. in New York City features a print advertisement of two men during a close moment. The advertisements will run nationally in gay men-targeted publications The Advocate, Genre, Hero and Out and in local publications in the 10 markets with the largest gay populations. The campaign includes an online component which will appear on Web sites such as…

Goetzl, 1999: This article looks at the direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisement for the anti-hair loss drug Propecia from pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. in the U.S. in October 1999. Sav-Mor Franchising, which operates a chain of 72 drugstores in Michigan, will launch a program on October 4 that will allow marketers to run a DTC print advertisement in the circulars it sends home to potential shoppers and distributes in its stores… The idea is to capitalize people’s trust in their pharmacist.

Dickinson, 1998: Reports that [FDA’s] Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) has stated that the Merck company’s print advertisement for Propecia, its hair growth pill, is misleading.

Wilke, 1998: Reports that Merck & Co. launched an estimated $50 million to $60 million direct-to-consumer advertising campaign for…Propecia in April 1998. The brand’s competition with Rogaine; Details of advertisements being used in the campaign; Statistics regarding sales of over-the-counter hair loss treatments.

Room at the top…, 1998: Focuses on the promotional campaigns for Pharmacia & Upjohn’s Rogaine and Merck & Co.’s Propecia, both used for the treatment of hair loss. Use of candid testimonials by top-ranked, low-hair-density sport figures in Rogaine’ promotional campaign; Effectiveness of both products in only a portion of men; Use of the product for several months before results appear.

Panel finds Merck’s Propecia.., 1997: Reports that a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expert committee agreed on the effectiveness of Propecia or finesteride in restoring hair growth and preventing further hair loss. Expectation on FDA’s approval of the drug for men, but not for women and children.

Hotline, 1996: Merck & Co. in Whitehouse Station, N.J., awarded its estimated $20 million account for Propecia, a hair restorative product, to Young & Rubicam, New York, sources said.