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nurofen australia


Nurofen maker, Reckitt Benckiser, has been hit with an increased fine of A$6 million ($4.4 million) for misleading customers in Australia.

In 2015, Australia’s Federal Court ruled that products marketed as targeting specific pains, such as migraines, were actually identical.

The British company was fined A$1.7 million in April 2016, but Australia’s consumer watchdog argued the sum was too low.

On December 16, the court agreed to increase the penalty, saying: “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.”

Reckitt Benckiser was also ordered to pay the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) legal costs.Nurofen Australia scandal

The ACCC said the pharmaceutical giant had profited substantially from misleading customers on products including Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “This is the highest corporate penalty awarded for misleading conduct under the Australian Consumer Law.

“The ACCC welcomes this decision, having originally submitted that a penalty of $6 million or higher was appropriate given the longstanding and widespread nature of the conduct, and the substantial sales and profit that was made.”

In April, the court ruled that Reckitt Benckiser had contravened Australian consumer law by saying its Nurofen Specific Pain products were each formulated to treat a specific type of pain.

Each product contained the same active ingredient, ibuprofen lysine 342mg.

Reckitt Benckiser said: “Nurofen did not intend to mislead consumers, however we recognise that we could have done more to assist our consumers in navigating the Nurofen Specific Pain Range.”

Earlier this year, the company removed a TV advert for one of its products – Nurofen Express. The advert had implied that the capsules directly targeted muscles in the head.

Reckitt Benckiser has said it will not re-broadcast it, following complaints that the ad was misleading.

Australia has ordered Reckitt Benckiser to take the Nurofen pain relief range off the Australian shelves after a court said UK-based drug giant misled consumers.

The court said products marketed to treat specific pains, such as migraines, were identical to one another.

Research also found the products were sold for almost double the price of Nurofen’s standard product.

Reckitt Benckiser said the case related only to Australia.

It said the ruling would not be applicable in other countries.Nurofen Australia scandal

Reckitt Benckiser said it would comply with the Australian court order and that it “did not set out to mislead consumers”.

Australia’s consumer watchdog brought the matter to court earlier this year.

The Federal Court of Australia said the products must be taken off Australian shelves within three months.

The products affected by the order include Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache.

The retail price for each of the pain-specific products was also found to be “significantly higher than that of other comparable analgesic products which also act as general pain relievers,” the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACC) said.

The ACC said the court had found each product “was formulated to treat a particular type of pain; and solely or specifically treated a particular type of pain” – but that each product contained the same active ingredient, ibuprofen lysine 342mg.

However, the products were found to be “no more effective at treating the type of pain described on its packaging than any of the other Nurofen specific pain products.”

Reckitt Benckiser is a consumer goods manufacturer and makes products including Nurofen, Dettol and Harpic, among others.

The company has been ordered to publish correction notices in newspapers and on its website and to pay the ACCC’s court costs.