Claims made for Nurofen painkillers have been found to be misleading and the products have been ordered off the shelves in Australia.
A ruling by the Australian Federal Court found manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) breached Australian consumer law by claiming Nurofen Specific Pain products were formulated to treat a specific type of pain when the products were identical.
The court found Reckitt Benckiser made misleading representations on the product packaging and its website that each product was formulated to treat a particular type of pain. However, the products all contained the same amount of active ingredient, 342mg of ibuprofen lysine.
The Nurofen Specific Pain product range, which is also sold in New Zealand, consists of Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache.
The court ruling follows charges laid by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Chair Rod Sims said it took the proceedings because it was concerned consumers may have purchased the products in the belief they treated a certain type of pain when this was not the case.
Reckitt Benckiser consented to orders made by the court to remove the products from Australian retail shelves within three months. The court also ordered the company to publish website and newspaper corrective notices, implement a consumer protection compliance programme and pay the ACCC’s costs.
Mr Sims said the retail price of the products was “significantly higher” than other comparable products. Price sampling by the commission indicated the products were sold at retail prices almost double that of Nurofen’s standard ibuprofen products he said.
The Commerce Commission is looking into the matter here.
Photo supplied by ACCC.