Nurofen fined £800k for ripping off consumers
If you’ve ever bought Nurofen tablets specifically for period pain, migraine or back pain then you’ve probably been ripped off.
The company that owns Nurofen were today ordered to pay 1.7 million Australian dollars (£888,000) in penalties after an Australian court decided that the company misled consumers about the effectiveness of the popular painkiller. It turns out that you can’t actually target a specific area of pain with Nurofen tablets.
The Federal Court ruled in December that Nurofen had misled consumers by branding packages as specifically for people with back pain, period pain or migraine, when the active ingredient (ibuprofen lysine) was identical in each one, and wouldn’t actually target certain types of pain.
The court ordered the company to remove the products from stores.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which launched the court action, had asked the court to impose a AU$6 million penalty on the company, arguing consumers had been tricked into unnecessarily paying more for the drugs.
Consumers have been paying twice as much
We’ve had a look at the Boots website today and the “specific” Nurofen varieties work out as 23p per tablet whereas a standard 24 pack is 12p per tablet. However, go for Boots Value Health ibuprofen and you’ll only be paying 2p per tablet.
In a statement the company said it had not meant to mislead the public.
‘However, we recognise that we could have done more to assist our consumers in navigating the Nurofen Specific Pain Range,’ it said.
‘That is, to show that each of the products in the range is equally effective for the other pains indicated on the Nurofen Specific Pain Range packaging.’
Nurofen owner Reckitt Benckiser has since changed the packaging for its specific pain line to indicate the drugs are also effective for general pain relief.
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