Categories: Hair Loss

Going Online to Buy Finasteride in Singapore: Is it Safe?

Reviewed by Dr Yang Chan, MBChB, MRCS, 15/04/2021

1347 words7 min read

In this digital age, why can’t we just purchase Finasteride online in Singapore? Sure, e-commerce has made life much easier. However, we should always be vigilant before obtaining medications from the Internet. In this article, we weigh in on the risk of the various online channels in Singapore.

If you are wanting where in Singapore can you find affordable Finasteride, check out our comparison guide.

Finasteride online? Sounds like a scam.

Actually, it really depends on who you buy it from.

Online shopping has really made everything much more easily accessible and you might be wondering if buying medication online is acceptable.

Indeed, there are sources where you can buy medication online but this comes with risks.

After all, the internet is an unregulated place and the medication that you are buying might have a few deficiencies. Here are some points to consider:

Quality of Finasteride

At least 11% of drugs sold online are counterfeit, shared the Interpol after a decade long of crack down.

They even go as far as to declare it a “severe health risk”. Because some of these fake medications were ever found to contain mercury, arsenic, rat poison or cement.

From Interpol’s Operation Pangea report, these illegal medications were often traced to organized criminal groups. Gangs who were in the business for profit, and not about your health.

SIRE Health Finasteride bottle product

Finasteride 1mg from Sire is approved for sale in Singapore by the HSA.

When you buy online, you have to check the source. If you got it from a regulated prescriber, then you don’t have to worry about your safety.

A regulated service is one that uses Finasteride from Singapore’s HSA-approved suppliers only. Traditionally, these sources are brick and mortar clinic, whereby the doctors were the gate-keepers to your hair loss solution.

When it comes to being good quality Finasteride, it’s vital not to take this issue lightly. You may be unknowingly ingesting poison on a daily basis. It might take weeks, or even months before any major side effects show up – By then the damage is already done.

Breaking the Singapore Law

How did you get your finasteride? Did you know that Singapore has laws against non-prescription acquisition of most medication, including finasteride. 

Just in 2019 alone, HSA detected more than 32.5% of supposed medical products sold online were illegal. 1194 of these products, often marketed as “100% safe”, had to be taken down.

Under the Singapore Poison Act, you are breaking the law for any unlicensed possession and sale of prescription-only medications.

You may be buying it for your own consumption. But still you would need a prescription invoice as proof. Try telling that to the judge if you were summoned to court for illegal possession.

The rule of thumb is, you need to find a service that provides prescription for Finasteride by a Singapore registered doctor. Any other option, you will likely flout the law.

The importance of delivery safety and timing

We mentioned about the importance of good quality Finasteride. This ties in closely with the speed and quality of delivery too.

Finasteride is an active chemical compound. It is sensitive to the natural elements such as heat, light and humidity.

When you purchase it from a licensed source, you can be assured that the medications have been stored and transported properly.

But if you buy it from illicit sources, then all bets are off. Most of the time they are imported improperly from overseas. They may be shipped with other goods, spend days in transit, thrown in a corner of a random warehouse. By the time you receive the package, the medications effectiveness may already be spoilt.

So for a couple of cents saving per Finasteride pill, are you even taking a tablet that even works anymore?

Price

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Are you taking the correct dose of Finasteride?

This is important. Are you sure you are being sold the right dose?

Finasteride comes in two doses: 1mg and 5mg. Finasteride 1mg is meant for male pattern hair loss. Finasteride 5mg is used for prostate enlargement.

Unintended consumption of Finasteride 5mg can lead to severe side effects such as erectile dysfunction and fatigue. These are symptoms of low testosterone.

More active ingredient doesn’t mean a better and faster result. In fact, research has shown that with just 1mg dosage alone, men reported seeing improving in their hairline as early as 3 month.

Sire specializes in hair loss treatment.

What are my options for finding safe Finasteride online?

  • Dedicated virtual men’s health clinic (eg. Sire)
  • Standard telemedicine providers
  • Online “pharmacies”
  • E-commerce platforms

YES: Dedicated virtual men’s health clinic (eg. Sire)

Sire is Singapore’s first all virtual service that specializes in hair loss treatment.

Sire can prescribe finasteride in Singapore. It is backed by The Cloud Clinic, a registered healthcare institution under the Ministry of Health.

Sire offers a quick and efficient process from consultation to medication. By filling in a simple health survey, you are able to pick what medication you need and the quantity you want. All medication is HSA-approved.

Your order is usually delivered to your doorstep within the next day. The medications are sealed in a weather-seal discreet package, and delivered by trusted delivery partners. You can sit back and receive the medications in the comfort of you home, while being certain the quality is untampered and retained.

Maybe: standard telemedicine providers

General telemedicine clinics are probably the next most reliable options but finding one is a real pain.

Although telemedicine providers in Singapore are licensed to prescribe finasteride, Singaporeans might meet up with the reality that it might be hard to find one that actually does.

Telemedicine, is after all, a new method of delivering patient care, and so a lot of traditional clinics haven’t made the leap.

Newer telemedicine providers might supply finasteride, but these services are new and hence their availability can be uncertain.

NO: Online “pharmacies”

The web is a large unregulated place and it’s no surprise you can find online pharmacies that offer you what you want.

It’s really tempting. Just put in a credit card and the website promises that you’ll get your medication.

But if you look closer, you are likely to see that the pharmacy is based in some foreign location.

The medication could also be suspect. They could be sold as individual finasteride pills. They might not come with the original, untampered box.

How would you be able to confirm that the website’s claims are true they come as non-descript pills? Or even worse, that they are not contaminated?

If you got these pills overseas, they will also likely be illegal since they will be imported without declaring that they are pharmaceuticals.

NO: E-commerce platforms

Type “finasteride” into your e-commerce platform of choice and you might find finasteride being sold.

However, the ease of using these platforms might lull you into a false sense of security.

On the topic of safety, other countries might have laxer rules on dispensing finasteride, and so that’s where it becomes a bit worrying. 

Often, these medications are brought from overseas. They are often not approved by HSA for local consumption.

The supply might be unreliable too. It all depends on whether the importer can keep their supply chain reliable. If they get arrested or cannot go overseas to retrieve the finasteride, then you will suddenly be out of luck.

So, reliability-wise, this source isn’t the best and it’s unknown quality is a risk.

Finding a safe and convenient way

Hair loss is a serious business, and it is a lifelong commitment of good habits in order to keep your looks healthy.

It is a journey, but not one that you have to walk alone. Find a trusted service that is sympathetic and understand your needs. To gauge that, the provider should understand that Finasteride is a long-term solution.

By “long-term” meaning being sensitive about the cost of treatment, yet never compromise your healthy and safety.

Healthcare shouldn’t be ripping you off when you are at your most vulnerable.

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