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Nurofen Causes Headache for Reckitt Benckiser

By Matt O'Neale - 16 Dec 2015

Are you experiencing pain in your back? Then, according to Reckitt Benckiser, Nurofen Back Pain should be your drug of choice.


Has a piercing migraine got you down? No worries, Reckitt Benckiser's products suggest, Nurofen Migraine Pain will soon soothe your misery.

However, Nurofen is now proving a sore spot for manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser following proceedings brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Reckitt Benckiser's specific pain product range includes the above products, together with Nurofen Period Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache. Each product has been promoted as specifically targeting and treating the particular type of pain.

However, an Australian court has now found that each product contains the exact same active ingredient, ibuprofen lysine 342mg, and is no more effective at treating a specified pain than any of the other Nurofen specific pain products.

As in New Zealand, Australia's consumer protection legislation prohibits misleading conduct. Being on the receiving end of a court judgment like this causes both reputational harm, as well as potentially significant penalties. In this instance, these included removing all Nurofen specific pain products from shelves within three months, publishing corrective notices, and paying the ACCC's costs.

The Commerce Commission is taking notice and considering the situation in New Zealand.

Reckitt Benckiser's pain could potentially have been avoided had they taken and followed legal advice about the potentially misleading nature of their claims before the products went to market.

If you're experiencing product claim pain, please consult your lawyer.


Craig Nelson

Matt O'Neale

Mike Worsnop

Melissa Higham


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