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.
Hims is an online health platform for men. The brand describes their service as “personalized, doctor-backed treatment plans” and sells everything from prescription erectile dysfunction (ED) meds to hair loss meds to anxiety and depression meds.
But does For Hims have better health products for men than other online health platforms or is it just branded better? How does the cost of the same medication compare between For Hims and other sites? Does gendered mental health care even make sense? And how do real users rate and describe using For Hims?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we compare the price of the same medications on For Hims and Cost Plus Drugs, which is a discount prescription medication site founded by Mark Cuban.
We’ll also share our thoughts on why gendered mental health treatment may not make sense, give our overall take on whether For Hims is worth the money and share real, unsponsored user reviews of For Hims.
Is For Hims Overpriced?
For Hims prescribes generic medications, which means that the cost of these medications can be directly compared to other websites retailing the same drugs.
Cost Plus Drugs is the online pharmacy with the best prices by far that we’ve come across, so we’ll use this site as a benchmark to compare drug prices to Hims.
Below is a price comparison for five randomly-selected drugs:
Finasteride (hair loss)
- Hims: $22
- Cost Plus Drugs: $4.50
Sildenafil (generic for Viagra – ED)
- Hims: $180
- Cost Plus Drugs: $5.40
Tadalafil (generic for Cialis – ED)
- Hims: $225
- Cost Plus Drugs: $5.70
- Hims: $195
- Cost Plus Drugs: $4.20
Valacyclovir (genital herpes)
- Hims: $360
- Cost Plus Drugs: $9.00
Hims ships a fixed amount of pills on a subscription basis, so to make the cost comparison equal we compared the cost per 30 tablets (which is a standard order on Cost Plus Drugs).
So for example, Hims is currently charging $60 for 5 pills of valacyclovir at a dosage of 500 milligrams (mg). Cost Plus Drugs sells 30 pills of the same dosage of the same drug for $9. So we compared the cost of the same amount of drugs (30 capsules).
We consider Hims to be grossly overpriced. You can get the same drugs for sometimes under 5% of the cost on Cost Plus Drugs.
But does their mental health treatment targeted to men specifically make sense? We’ll share our thoughts in the next section.
Does Gendered Mental Healthcare Make Sense?
We take issue with gendered marketing of mental health medication, because we haven’t seen any indication from the FDA or in clinical research that these drugs are more effective for one sex than the other. An antidepressant like bupropion is prescribed to both men and women if they suffer from depression.
As we discussed in our For Hers reviews article (another gendered online pharmacy run by the same company as For Hims), our concern is that patients may be wary of using a medication that’s branded to the opposite sex, thinking it may not be effective for their sex.
So for example, if bupropion is marketed as an antidepressant for men, women may be less likely to want to try it, even though it’s equally effective regardless of gender or sex.
The one type of mental health treatment that may be more effective with gendered solutions is therapy. A medical review published in the Psychological Reports journal found that women experienced better results from therapy when matched with a female therapist.
But to our knowledge, For Hims does not provide therapy. They just sell medications.
We recommend that consumers be wary of health companies making gendered claims in regard to prescription medication.
Real, Unsponsored For Hims User Reviews
A YouTube creator named Steve Hogue claims to have experienced side effects from a medication prescribed on Hims:
Another YouTube creator named George Schirra used a variety of Hims products for hair loss over the course of two years, and shares his experience in this video with over 45,000 views:
Real For Hims Customer Complaints
In the last three years, over 150 customers have submitted complaints about the company behind Hims on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Many customer complaints related to refund issues, such as this complaint from Feburary 21st of 2023:
“The company misleads and automatically charges your card on file without any approval nor letting you know how Much its going to cost. I was shocked to be charged ****** USD over the weekend and when i informed them to cancel and refund me because i was unaware of this , they refused. They mislead the patients and fraudulently charge the card on file.”
To the credit of Hims & Hers Health Inc., they respond to every single customer complaint and try to resolve the issue, which is the sign of a high-quality brand.
Our Recommended Hair Loss Solutions
Since hair loss seems to be the most popular category of treatment offered by For Hims, we wanted to share our research-backed hair loss recommendations.
Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors, from hormones to stress to vitamin deficiencies and more. Without determining the cause of hair loss, it’s very challenging to effectively treat.
We recommend PlushCare's Online Hair Loss Consult because it’s a convenient way for patients to have a call with a credentialed medical expert like a doctor or dermatologist to determine the cause of the hair loss and get treatment from the comfort of their home.
PlushCare accepts major health insurers like United and Aetna, and also accepts patients paying out-of-pocket. Interested consumers can check out PlushCare at this link to the brand's official website.
The hair growth shampoo we recommend is Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo.
This shampoo is formulated with effective and non-toxic plant-based compounds like aloe vera juice and argan oil. It also contains rosemary leaf oil which was shown in a clinical trial published in the Phytotherapy Research journal to promote hair growth.
Interested consumers can check out Acure Vivacious Volume Shampoo at this Amazon link.
In regard to ED treatment, herbal supplement Panax ginseng has been studied in multiple clinical trials for its potential to naturally treat ED.
A clinical trial published in The Journal of Urology found that after eight weeks of treatment, erectile function scores were "significantly higher" in the ginseng group than the group taking placebo pills.
Illuminate Labs sells a panax ginseng extract supplement which is third-party tested to ensure label accuracy, potency and purity, and which contains no questionable additive ingredients.
Interested consumers can check out Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract at this link to the product page on our website, where the supplement can be purchased for only $15 on a subscription basis.
Pros and Cons of Hims
Here are the pros and cons of Hims as a brand in our opinion:
- Effective, FDA-approved treatments
- Personalized skincare may be useful
- Dramatically more expensive than competitors
- Gendered mental healthcare may be confusing
- Some users complain of sexual side effects
- Some customers complain about the company’s billing practices
- Unclear value proposition