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Nurofen Australia made misleading Specific Pain claims

14 December 2015  •  Author: Victoria White

The Australian Federal Court has found that Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) engaged in misleading conduct in contravention of Australia Consumer Law by representing that its Nurofen Specific Pain Products were each formulated to treat a specific type of pain, when the products are identical.

Reckitt Benckiser

The Nurofen Specific Pain product range consists of Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache. The court found that Reckitt Benckiser made misleading representations on the packaging of each Nurofen Specific Pain product, and on its website.

Reckitt Benckiser admitted that it had engaged in the contravening conduct and consented to the orders made by the Court.

The proceedings were commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Reckitt Benckiser ordered to remove Nurofen Specific Pain products from retail shelves

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said, “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.

“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.”

Mr. Sims continued, “The retail price of the Nurofen Specific Pain Products was significantly higher than that of other comparable analgesic products which also act as general pain relievers. Price sampling conducted by the ACCC before the proceedings were commenced indicated that 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.”

The Court ordered that Reckitt Benckiser remove the Nurofen Specific Pain products from retail shelves in Australia within 3 months. The court has also ordered that Reckitt Benckiser publish website and newspaper corrective notices, implement a consumer protection compliance programme, and pay the ACCC’s costs.

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