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Upjohn Gets OK to Sell Anti-Baldness Drug for Women in Britain

April 5, 1990

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) _ The Upjohn Co. has received approval from the British government to begin pitching its anti-baldness drug to women, company officials said Wednesday.

Studies show that Regaine, sold as Rogaine in the United States and Canada, is at least as effective in treating hair loss in women as in men, Upjohn officials said.

The 2 percent minoxidil solution is sold by prescription for men in 63 countries; about 20 of them also have approved it for women.

Upjohn is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell Rogaine for women in the United States.

Company spokeswoman Laura Harwin said the solution and application are the same for men and women. The approval, received Tuesday, just allows the company to broaden its marketing.

In the United States, an estimated 30 million men and 20 million women experience hereditary hair loss. The cause of hair thinning in men and women is often the same: age, heredity and the presence of the hormone testosterone, Harwin said.

The results differ, however. While many men eventually are left with a horseshoe-shaped fringe of hair, women usually see a general thinning over the top of the head.

Marketing experts at Upjohn estimate about 34 percent of women between the ages of 20 and 60 experience at least mild hair thinning.

Though Upjohn does not release sales figures for individual products, analysts say the drug has been slow to catch on among men in the United States, partly because of its mixed results. It has been shown in testing to grow hair in about 39 percent of young men who are in the early stages of balding.

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