Nurofen hero
16 December 2016

Nurofen maker's fine tripled in court

Australian appeal sees fine jump to $6 million.

The maker of Nurofen has had its fine for misleading conduct tripled in Australia.

Reckitt Benckiser will now have to pay $A6 million ($NZ6.27 million) for misleading consumers with how it marketed its Nurofen Specific Pain products. The manufacturer was fined $A1.7 million by the Federal Court in April this year but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) lodged an appeal that has been upheld.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said it was the highest corporate penalty awarded for misleading conduct under Australian consumer law. Justices Jagot, Yates and Bromwich stated: “The objective of any penalty in this case must be to ensure that Reckitt Benckiser and other ‘would-be wrongdoers’ think twice and decide not to act against the strong public interest.”

Back here, the Commerce Commission brought 10 charges against Reckitt Benckiser in September. The commission alleges the manufacturer's website and the products' packaging gave the overall impression that the products were targeted to provide relief for a specific kind of pain. The products are identical and contain the same amount of active ingredient, 342mg of ibuprofen lysine.

Reckitt Benckiser changed its packaging of the products in March after signing court enforceable undertakings with the commission.

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