The manufacturers of the popular painkiller range Nurofen will be fined $6 million for misleading customers. Today the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) won the court case against pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser over the targeted pain range.
The Federal Court found that the Nurofen targeted pain relief range was misleading because they all had the same active ingredient that acts as general pain relief. The range claimed to target specific pains, such as period pain or migraines, when they all contained the same 342mg of ibuprofen lysine.
In the original court case, the manufacturers were handed a fine of $1.7 million, which the ACCC argued was a paltry fine unlikely to deter companies acting against public interest. There is also the matter of the enormous profit the company gained from the sales of the “inherently misleading” product. The specific pain relief range retailed at double the price of usual Nurofen painkillers, providing a revenue of $45 million.
The ACCC won its appeal to the High Court and Reckitt Benckiser was today fined $6 million, the original amount that the ACCC had recommended the court impose. The pharmaceutical company has also been ordered to pay the costs of the ACCC. The ACCC hopes that this successful case will send a strong message to companies looking to contravene Australian consumer law.