Daily Management Review

Nurofen's Maker Ordered to Recall Products from Retail Shelfs in Australia after Company Concedes to Misleading Consumers


Nurofen's Maker Ordered to Recall Products from Retail Shelfs in Australia after Company Concedes to Misleading Consumers
After a court ruled it had made misleading claims, the drug giant Reckitt Benckiser was ordered on Monday to pull some of its popular Nurofen painkiller brands off shelves in Australia.

The company has admitted that it had been selling for almost double the price of its standard painkiller, identical products that were marketed to treat specific types of pain.
The same active ingredient, 342 milligrams of ibuprofen lysine was found in Nurofen’s varieties for back pain, period pain, migraine pain and tension headaches. The Australian federal court has held the multinational company responsible for misleading consumers after the company accepted this anamoly.
The court has given the company three months to remove Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache from retail shelves.
Earlier this year a suit was filed by a consumer watchdog against the UK-based pharmaceutical company earlier this year. The price of Nurofen’s targeted pain relief range was significantly higher than that of other comparable products, said Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“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,” Sims said.

He said any representations which were difficult for a consumer to test would now face greater scrutiny from the ACCC.
 “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,” Sims said.

“Truth in advertising and consumer issues in the health and medical sectors are priority areas for the ACCC, to ensure that consumers are given accurate information when making their purchasing decisions,” he added.
The status of the company was ordered to be published on websites and newspaper articles bbby the court. The company was also ordered to implement a consumer protection compliance program and pay the ACCC’s costs.
“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,” a Nurofen spokeswoman, Montse Pena, said in a statement on Monday.

Nurofen, Mortein, Clearasil, Finish, Airwick and Gaviscon are some of the brands that Reckitt Benckiser markets and sells through in Australia.

A court hearing on a likely fine is yet to be scheduled.


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