Big fine for Nurofen in Australia over misleading claims

December 16, 2016

Drug giant Reckitt Benckiser was slapped with a Aus$6 million (US$4.4 million) fine Friday for making misleading claims about its popular Nurofen Specific Pain brand in Australia.

The country's consumer watchdog took action against the company in 2015, disputing Nurofen packaging claims that products in the range were formulated to treat different types of , when the was identical.

The Federal Court last year ruled the British-based multinational engaged in deceptive conduct between 2011 and 2015 with the main ingredient, ibuprofen lysine, the same in all the products with none better at treating one type of pain than others.

It fined the group Aus$1.7 million, but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) appealed, claiming it was inadequate and did not serve as an effective deterrent.

The court Friday revised the penalty to Aus$6 million "to ensure that Reckitt Benckiser and other 'would-be wrongdoers' think twice and decide not to act against the strong public interest".

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said a bigger fine was appropriate "given the longstanding and widespread nature of the conduct, and the substantial sales and profit that was made".

The case revolved around Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache products.

The original ruling ordered that they be removed from retail shelves and packets amended.

Nurofen denied it deliberately deceived consumers and said it had cooperated with the ACCC throughout.

In Australia, Reckitt Benckiser markets and supplies a range of consumer health and household brands, including Nurofen, Mortein, Clearasil, Finish, Airwick and Gaviscon.

Explore further: Australia challenges 'misleading' Nurofen painkiller

Related Stories

Australia challenges 'misleading' Nurofen painkiller

March 5, 2015
Australia's consumer watchdog Thursday launched court action against drug giant Reckitt Benckiser, alleging false or misleading claims about its popular painkiller Nurofen.

Australia court: UK company misled consumers over painkiller

December 14, 2015
An Australian court ordered a British consumer goods company on Monday to remove several versions of a popular painkiller from stores in Australia after ruling that the company misled consumers about the products' effectiveness.

British watchdog probes Nurofen adverts

December 15, 2015
Britain's advertising watchdog said Tuesday it was investigating a TV advert for Nurofen after some versions of the painkiller were removed from shelves in Australia over misleading claims.

Painkiller recalled in Britain after suspected sabotage

August 27, 2011
The makers of painkiller Nurofen Plus have recalled the tablets in Britain after anti-psychotic and epilepsy drugs were found to have been placed in packets in acts of suspected sabotage.

Man held in Britain over contamination of painkillers

September 23, 2011
British police arrested a man on Friday after anti-psychotic and epilepsy drugs were placed in packets of the painkiller Nurofen Plus, Scotland Yard said.

Ibuprofen-codeine misuse a health risk

September 18, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Researchers have recommended that drugs combining codeine and other pain killers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, be restricted to prescription-only following reports of misuse and fatalities.

Recommended for you

Your heart hates air pollution. Portable filters could help

November 13, 2018
Microscopic particles floating in the air we breathe come from sources such as fossil fuel combustion, fires, cigarettes and vehicles. Known as fine particulate matter, this form of air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular ...

Simple tips can lead to better food choices

November 13, 2018
A few easily learned tips on eating and food choice can increase amount of healthy food choices between 5 percent and 11 percent, a new Yale University study has found.

No accounting for these tastes: Artificial flavors a mystery

November 13, 2018
Six artificial flavors are being ordered out of the food supply in a dispute over their safety, but good luck to anyone who wants to know which cookies, candies or drinks they're in.

Insufficient sleep in children is associated with poor diet, obesity and more screen time

November 13, 2018
A new study conducted among more than 177,000 students suggests that insufficient sleep duration is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle profile among children and adolescents.

New exercise guidelines: Move more, sit less, start younger

November 12, 2018
Move more, sit less and get kids active as young as age 3, say new federal guidelines that stress that any amount and any type of exercise helps health.

Some activity fine for kids recovering from concussions, docs say

November 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Children and teens who suffer a sports-related concussion should reduce, but not eliminate, physical and mental activity in the days after their injury, an American Academy of Pediatrics report says.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.