In this interview, Stucky discussed his team’s research into an uptick in oral minoxidil prescribing rates for hair loss that had immediately followed the publication of a New York Times article.
During this HCPLive interview, Nick Stucky, MD, PhD, vice president of research at Truveta, spoke about his team’s recent findings on rates of prescription of oral minoxidil following the publication of a single New York Times article on the treatment.1
Stucky is known for his work as a physician-scientist and a bioengineer who has also worked as a start-up founder, a faculty teaching role, and a research director.
“A member of our research team, just anecdotally, 1 of her partners noticed an increase in prescribing of minoxidil around the turn of the new year,” he explained. “And so, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to go and look at our dataset, which is really timely…We have very recent data from the health record, and so that was kind of the impetus.”
He and his team of investigators found a single article in The New York Times on a small observational study examining low-dose oral minoxidil as treatment for hair loss in women had an association with instant increases in prescribing.
“What we saw was that it was quite profound for males,” Stucky said. “Going from before to after the publication of the article quite quickly, we saw a 2.4 fold increase in the prescription of oral minoxidil. And so that was for males, and then it was a 1.7 fold increase for females.”
He added that the team also saw some demographic shifts among their findings on the article’s publication.
“Compared to before the article was published, after the article was published, we saw an increased proportion of males—of White males specifically—and also of individuals with fewer comorbidities in the group following the publication of the article,” Stucky explained. “So those were kind of the high level findings.”
Stucky also added that they had more or less expected these findings due to anecdotal evidence they believed they had seen.
“Even the formal studies in this area are often done on just a handful, a small number of patients and so with the anecdotes and then the prior publications, we thought we had an opportunity to really add something here and we ended up with I think about 6500 patients in our cohort,” he said.
The quotes contained in this interview were edited for clarity. To find out more about the research described here, view the full interview segment above.