Nurofen’s manufacturer has agreed to stop selling its specific pain range in its current packaging in New Zealand by March.

The products in the specific pain range claimed to be specially formulated to treat migraine, period or back pain, but all products are identical and contain the same amount of active ingredient, 342mg of ibuprofen lysine. The agreement with the Commerce Commission comes after manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser admitted the products breached Australian consumer law.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin was pleased the commission had acted so quickly following the Australian decision.

“It’s good news for consumers but concerning that a big pharmaceutical company could mislead people in this way,” she said.

Until March, the products will be sold with amended labels making it clear they are just as effective on other forms of pain.

The affected products are:

  • Nurofen Migraine Pain
  • Nurofen Period Pain
  • Nurofen Back Pain.

The commission’s investigation into whether the current packaging is misleading and deceptive is expected to be completed early next year.

Earlier this month, after legal action was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Federal Court found Reckitt Benckiser made misleading representations on the product packaging and its website about its specific pain range. 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. The products were ordered to be off Australian shelves by March.