A Healthesystems publication

Fall 2013

Topical Analgesics: Expensive and Avoidable

Close management of custom compounds has decreased their prevalence in workers’ compensation.  But private-label topicals and homeopathic products have filled the void.  Neither is FDA-approved. Both warrant close monitoring because of their high costs and lack of proven efficacy.  

Some very expensive topical creams and gels are creeping into the workers’ compensation prescription files. Previously, the issue of custom compounds was highlighted and the attention to these prescriptions has resulted in a decrease in the number of prescriptions seen. However, the price of these compounds has increased significantly.

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SOURCES

1 -FDA Drug Safety Communication: Rare cases of serious burns with the use of over-the-counter topical muscle and joint pain relievers 9/13/2012. Rockville, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm318858.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
2 -FDA Drug Safety Communication: Rare cases of serious burns with the use of over-the-counter topical muscle and joint pain relievers 9/13/2012. Rockville, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm318858.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
3 -FDA Drug Safety Communication: Rare cases of serious burns with the use of over-the-counter topical muscle and joint pain relievers 9/13/2012. Rockville, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm318858.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
4 -Warning Letter dated December 4, 2006 “Hal’s Compounding Pharmacy, Inc.” US Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2006/ucm076195.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
5 -FDA Warns Five Firms To Stop Compounding Topical Anesthetic Creams. Rockville, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. 12/5/2006. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108793.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
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