Nurofen is one of the most trusted brands in pharmaceutical goods, yet today’s news suggests they’ve been anything but trustworthy.
This mess all started back in March when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched action against the drug’s maker, Reckitt Benckiser, alleging that it was misleading consumers by selling a range of pain relief products targeted at specific ailments.
If you’ve ever purchased Nurofen for targeted relief for back pain or migraines, you have been duped – these products are identical to the flagship Nurofen product, just with different packaging, and twice the price. They all contained the same ingredient – ibuprofen lysine 342mg.
The Federal Court has found Nurofen were guilty of making these misleading claims.
“Price sampling conducted by the ACCC before the proceedings were commenced indicated that the Nurofen specific pain products were being sold at retail prices almost double that of Nurofen’s standard ibuprofen products and the general pain relief products of its competitors,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.
“The ACCC took these proceedings because it was concerned that consumers may have purchased these products in the belief that they specifically treated a certain type of pain, based on the representations on the packaging, when this was not the case”.
However, the company still denies attempting to deceive customers with its product packaging and other marketing.
“The Nurofen specific-pain range was launched with an intention to help consumers navigate their pain relief options, particularly within the grocery environment where there is no healthcare professional to assist decision making,” said Nurofen spokesperson Montse Pena in a statement.
“Nurofen did not set out to mislead consumers. Nurofen has cooperated with the ACCC in relation to these proceedings and will fully comply with the court order made today.”
Reckitt Benckiser will also have to implement a consumer protection compliance program, pay the ACCC’s legal costs and potentially pay penalties which are to be determined by the court at a later date, reports the ABC.