For Hers Review: Can Mental Health Be Overpriced?

For Hers Review: Can Mental Health Be Overpriced?


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Disclaimer: None of the information in this article constitutes medical advice. All statements are merely the opinion of the writer(s). We recommend that patients follow their doctor’s guidance in regard to prescription medication.

For Hers is an online mental health platform for women. The brand describes their services as “health care that feels like self-care,” and connects patients with doctors that can prescribe medication to be delivered in the mail with no need for an in-person visit.

But does For Hers have better options for mental health care than other online health platforms or is it just branded better? How does the price of the same medication compare between For Hers and other platforms? Does gendered mental health treatment even make sense? And how do real users describe and rate the For Hers platform?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we compare the price of the same medication between For Hers and Cost Plus Drugs, a low-cost prescription medication venture.

We’ll also share our thoughts on gendered treatment of mental health, give our thoughts on whether the For Hers platform is worth the money and share real, unsponsored user reviews of For Hers.

Is For Hers Overpriced?

For Hers prescribes generic medications which tend to be just as effective but cheaper than brand-named versions. Cost Plus Drugs, the low-cost prescription medication venture founded by Mark Cuban, also sells generic drugs. 

Below is a price comparison between the two platforms on some of the most commonly-prescribed medications. For Hers does not detail the medication dosage or quantity on their product pages, so we will compare the price listed on each For Hers product page to the price listed for the default settings for dosage and quantity on Cost Plus Drugs:

Citalopram (antidepressant)

  • For Hers: $49
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $3.90

Fluoxetine (antidepressant)

  • For Hers: $49
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $3.90

Buspirone (anti-anxiety)

  • For Hers: $49
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $3.90

Venlafaxine (antidepressant)

  • For Hers: $49
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $4.80

Paroxetine (antidepressant)

  • For Hers: $49
  • Cost Plus Drugs: $4.50

Clearly on a cost basis alone, Cost Plus Drugs vastly outperforms For Hers in the mental health medication category.

For Hers also sells a minoxidil foam at a concentration of 5% for $20 per month. As we documented in our minoxidil for women review article, this compound is proven in clinical trials to cause hair growth and reduce hair shedding. However, minoxidil foam at the same concentration is available on Amazon for only $10 per month.

We can’t compare birth control pricing between different healthcare platforms because price and access to this category of medication varies significantly by geography and health insurance.

Based on a review of psychiatric medication and hair medication, we consider For Hers to be somewhat overpriced.

Does Gendered Mental Health Care Make Sense?

Our issue with gendered marketing for mental health medication is that it may confuse patients. All of the FDA-approved psychiatric medications sold by For Hers are approved for use in both sexes, so we find the marketing somewhat confusing.

As an example, bupropion is an antidepressant (generic for Wellbutrin) that’s approved for use in both men and women. The exact same medication is sold on the For Hims website and the For Hers website (which are owned by the same company). We hope that a male patient doesn’t see a medication branded as “for her” and have hesitations about using it, and vice versa.

We only take issue with gendered marketing of mental health medications but not with therapy, because there is some clinical evidence that therapy outcomes can be optimized based on matching gender.

A medical review published in the Psychological Reports journal found that women experienced better results from therapy when matched with a female therapist.

Many health companies use gendered marketing and we don’t mean to single For Hers out, we just wanted to highlight this information to consumers because we haven’t come across gendered marketing for prescription medication approved for both sexes to this point.

Real, Unsponsored For Hers User Reviews

A TikTok user named Karen Maritza reviewed For Hers favorably, and makes a good point that the convenience of booking an appointment with a short turnaround time with a psychiatrist is an advantage given how long it can take to book an in-person appointment:

@itskarenmaritza 🔔 talk to your doctor about medications and risks 🔔 this is my personal experience on antidepressants. More than happy to keep posting about my experience on them. #wellbutrin #antideppressants #mentalhealth #latinasoftiktok #bupropion #forhers @hers ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

A YouTube creator named Pamela Ross reviewed a wide range of non-prescription For Hers products:

Our Take: Is Hers Worth It?

For Hers may be worth the money for some patients, but we don’t recommend the platform to all patients.

For patients with disposable income who want to see a psychiatrist as soon as possible, it may be well worth it to sign up for Hers and see how soon an appointment becomes available. It may require significantly less waiting than local psychiatry offices.

For patients shopping based on retail price alone, Cost Plus Drugs seems like the clear winner. Their site has the lowest out-of-pocket prices for generic drugs by far of any online health platform we’ve analyzed on Illuminate Health.

Patients with good health insurance may benefit from working with local providers, because the cost can in some cases be 100% subsidized. However, this varies significantly based on the insurance plan.

Our Mental Wellness Recommendation

We recommend a platform called Brightside to patients seeking mental wellness. It's an online therapy and medication platform that connects patients with licensed therapists and doctors from the comfort of their home.

medical review published in the Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy journal found that online therapy was equally effective to in-person therapy for treating depression, anxiety and PTSD. Therapy may be a good first option for patients who want to avoid the potential side effects of medication.

Brightside also can connect patients with licensed psychiatrists that can prescribe medication. Some patients choose only therapy, some choose only medication, and some choose both. The brand reports that 86% of members feel significantly better within 12 weeks of treatment.

Brightside accepts health insurance from major insurers like Aetna, Cigna, United Healthcare and Anthem, and the cost for medication without health insurance is capped at $95/month.

Interested patients can check out Brightside at this link to the official brand's website.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

For Hers does not accept insurance, and their cost of coverage and medication prices are relatively high compared to alternative platforms. In our opinion, Hers is not the best option for low-income patients.

There is definitely a convenience of being able to have a videoconference with a psychiatrist within a week or two, since local bookings are often months out. For this reason, we think that Hers may be a good resource to check for high-income patients who don’t need to worry about the costs of paying out-of-pocket.

Online reviews of this service are relatively favorable, but we take issue with the gendered branding of generic drugs that are FDA-approved to treat both sexes. Our concern is that this may confuse patients.

We don’t recommend For Hers overall, but the brand reports that 75% of users feel better after signing up, so we have no issue with users trying this service.