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Compound creams: Workers comp fraud and the high price of the growing medication




A transdermal cream base is added to the solvent and powder mixture. The transdermal cream base is made to ensure the medication in a compound cream is fully absorbed through the skin.
A transdermal cream base is added to the solvent and powder mixture. The transdermal cream base is made to ensure the medication in a compound cream is fully absorbed through the skin.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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A dozen doctors and pharmacists in Orange County will be arraigned this week in a huge workers comp fraud case. 

Prosecutors claim they scammed people over a little known - but lucrative - business of compound creams. 

One tube of cream can cost thousands of dollars. 

Southern California Public Radio's investigative producer Karen Foshay looks into what's in these creams and why they are so expensive.

Related: The price of pain: High costs spur questions about compound creams