… or, is that price gouging on the Internet or American Capitalism at its finest?

I have very stubborn dandruff.

For a while, tea tree oil shampoo (a recommendation from a stylist) was enough to deal with it.  Then I went through several flavors of ordinary dandruff shampoo: the salicylic acid, zinc pyrithione (Head & Shoulders), selenium disulfide (Selsun Blue), and coal tar (Neutrogena T/Gel).  Finally I tried Nizoral, which contains a pretty powerful antifungal agent called ketoconazole.  Worked great.  Kind of spendy, for sure (around $10 for a 4 ounce bottle or $15 for a 7 ounce bottle)  — but I didn’t have to use it every time I washed my hair, so it wasn’t such a bad deal.

For a while I thought I’d beat the problem permanently so I didn’t buy more.  Buta few weeks ago the trouble came back so I went looking for more Nizoral.

None of the stores had it.  Some had an empty section of shelf where it was supposed to be.

What was up, I wondered. So I went to Google, typed in “Nizoral shortage” and hit the enter key.  The best information came in the form of a product review on Amazon — it was not so much a review of the product but an explanation of the shortage, written by someone who had called the manufacturer directly.  The manufacturer had shifted production to a new plant and was waiting on FDA certification of that new plant.  Supplies should be getting back to normal in July if all goes well.

In the meantime the sellers on Amazon were charging $26.95 for the 4 ounce bottle and $52.95 for the 7 ounce bottle.  That’s 2.5 to 4 times the usual price.  And that was the low end: the upper end was $39.95 for the 4 oz and $59.97 for the 7 oz!

I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s a free country with a modified capitalist economic system (so it’s not illegal to jack up the price of this stuff when the supply is low) that I don’t particularly want to change.

But 4x the price just because you can?!  Seems to me some folks need an ethics transplant.

As for me, I think I’ll endure the flakes and itchy scalp for a few weeks.

One Person’s Intractable Dandruff Is Another’s Golden Opportunity
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