InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism

Fine for dodgy Nurofen claims increased to $6m


The makers of Nurofen have been fined a record $6 million for misleading consumers over its “specific pain range” tablet claims.

Comments Print article

It comes after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) earlier this year appealed for the $1.7 million fine imposed on pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser to be increased.

The consumer watchdog had taken the company to court in 2015 for its packaging highlighting back pain, period pain, migraines and tension headaches painkillers – despite the tablets being chemically identical.

As well, while Nurofen Specific Pain products were similar to other standard Nurofen ibuprofen tablets they cost almost double.

Today the Federal Court found the initial $1.7 million penalty was inadequate given the substantial consumer loss suffered.

“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,” the three-judge panel ruled.

The tablet-maker must now pay a $6 million fine, as well as the ACCC’s legal costs.

ACCC Chairman Rodd Simms said it’s the highest corporate penalty awarded for misleading conduct under Australian consumer law.

“The ACCC will continue to advocate for higher penalties for breaches of Australia’s consumer laws to ensure that they act as an effective deterrent and are not simply viewed as a cost of doing business,” Simms said.

Reckitt Benckiser is disappointed by the court’s decision.

“The original penalty of the Federal Court in April was appropriate in all the circumstances,” it said in a statement.

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

The company is considering its position with legal advisors, the statement said.


Help our journalists uncover the facts

In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to donate to InDaily.

Donate here
Powered by PressPatron


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More Business stories

Loading next article