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Nurofen products pulled from the shelves over 'misleading claims'

Products that claimed to target specific types of pain were found to be identical.

Photo: stock
Photo: stock
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

AN AUSTRALIAN COURT has ordered that Nurofen pain relief products be pulled from the shelves due to misleading claims.

The Federal Court has said that the products – which are marketed to treat specific types of pain – are in fact identical.

The action was taken by government-affiliated watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The case was taken against Reckitt Benckiser, the company that manufacturers Nurofen.

Included in the case were products targeted at treating migraines, back pain, period pain and tension headaches.

Although all of these contained the same active ingredient – ibuprofen lysine 432mg – they did differ from the standard Nurofen product.

Reckitt Benckiser did not oppose the orders made by the court, and admitted that it had engaged in “contravening conduct”.

In response to the judgement, the ACCC 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.

The regulatory watchdog describes advertising in the medical sector as one of its priority areas.

A problem was also noted with the pricings, with pain-specific Nurofen products sold at a higher cost than general pain relievers.

The products will now be withdrawn over the next three months and Reckitt Benckiser has been ordered to take a number of corrective actions.

These include publishing corrective notices on its website and in newspapers; implementing a consumer protection compliance programme; and also paying the ACCC’s costs.

For the time being an agreement has been reached between the ACCC and Reckitt Benckiser on how their products are to be packaged, with the information about them being equally effective for other forms of pain to be clearly displayed.

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