A blog I follow, called “Fuck Yeah FTMs!” recently posted about a little-known option for people using or wanting to use T (testosterone). Normally, hormone therapy can cost hundreds of dollars a month, depending on the method of treatment, creating a significant obstacle for those desiring such treatment. However, at least one pharmaceutical company, Abbott, is offering AndroGel (a testosterone-increasing topical gel) to those with limited funds. In order to qualify to receive free AndroGel, one must have a prescription and fill out an application found on the company’s site. It goes on to say that, “Eligible patients typically have no healthcare coverage for the requested product and do not have access to alternative sources of coverage or funding.” Considering that very few insurance policies cover hormone treatments for trans and gender non-conforming people, this means a great many people can become eligible as long as they can obtain a prescription.
While this may allow many people access to T that wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise, others may still encounter obstacles. For instance, in order to obtain a prescription for T, in the absence of a free clinic, one would need to have enough money to afford a doctor visit. One would also have to convince the doctor to proscribe AndroGel, which may be difficult if the doctor is transphobic, or doesn’t understand the patient’s desire for hormone treatment. People living in rural areas with fewer clinics may have a hard time finding a doctor willing to give a prescription. Undocumented immigrants fearing deportation and people who do not speak English may have additional trouble. As far as treatment, topical testosterone solutions such as AndroGel have low doses compared to other methods. Also, not all people react the same to hormone treatment, so topical gels may be less effective (or less desirable) for some than other methods, such as injection.
Even though this may not work for everyone interested in taking testosterone, I thought this information was still cool. Hopefully it will open more options for people interested.