Articles & Blogs

Compound Pain Cream Update

March 13, 2019
November 17, 2017

As we have reported in the past, compound pain creams (CPCs) remain the subject of local and national attention.  In addition to issues of price, efficacy, and potential insurance fraud, the issue of safety is now attracting media attention: 

 Chartwell Law continues to work with our clients to address CPCs on a number of fronts.  We have developed strategies outside of the Utilization Review process to challenge CPCs and have amassed useful intelligence on CPC providers and patterns.  In addition to helping our clients deny or reduce payments for these non-FDA approved and remarkably expensive concoctions, we are coordinating efforts to try to obtain restitution and other damages for amounts that our clients have already paid. 

As we continue to clamp down on CPCs, providers are turning to alternative ways to profit from the huge market for pain treatments in workers’ compensation cases.  We are eager to know if you are seeing bills for other topical ointments or patches.  We just reviewed a bill for 4% lidocaine patches, charged at about $3,600 for a box of 60 patches.  Other 4% lidocaine patches sell for about $1.50 per patch.  The high-priced 4% patches are being prescribed by doctors and filled at “specialty” pharmacies, even though the FDA classifies the product as “over the counter.”

If you are seeing bills for CPCs, or for topical patches, creams or ointments with charges of over $1,000 per prescription, we’d like to hear from you.  Please contact Jason Hanford at or Carol Crisci at