The company that sells Nurofen, Reckitt Benckiser, has been fined $1.7 million by the Federal Court for misleading Australian consumers about their pain relief products. The Nurofen Specific range are advertised to specifically target various types of pain including back, period, migraine and tension headache pain. It was argued that despite the packaging and marketing, the products in each different pack are in fact identical.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) launched action and had originally sought a fine of $6 million. However Reckitt Benckiser said in a statement that, “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.” They also disputed that they didn’t infringe the law because it also said “also suitable for general pain relief” on the packaging.
The ACCC did not get the $6 million penalty it sought because the products still worked but the company just unfairly made customers pay more and subsequently suffer financially. Justice Edelman ordered the company to pay the Commonwealth $1,700,000 in the next month and said, “None of the four products is any more or less effective than the others in treating any of the particular symptoms.”