ACCC appeals to raise fine against Nurofen

nurofenThe consumer watchdog is appealing what it says is an inadequate fine imposed by the federal court against the makers of Nurofen over misplaced claims of targeted pain relief.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Reckitt Benckiser should have been fined at least $6 million, rather than the $1.7 million imposed, because the company made millions from products it misleadingly claimed were tailored to treat specific pain.

“The ACCC will submit to the full court of the federal court that $1.7 million in penalties imposed on a company the size of Reckitt Benckiser does not act as an adequate deterrent and might be viewed as simply a cost of doing business,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said.

“This is particularly the case when the judge found that Reckitt Benckiser had made many millions in profits from sales of 5.9 million units of these products at around 8,500 outlets during the relevant period.”

In December 2015, following admissions by Reckitt Benckiser, the Court found that Reckitt Benckiser engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct by making representations on its website and product packaging that Nurofen Specific Pain products were each formulated to specifically treat a particular type of pain, when this was not the case.

In fact, each Nurofen Specific Pain product contains the same active ingredient, ibuprofen lysine 342mg, which treats a wide variety of pain conditions and is no more effective at treating the type of pain described on its packaging than any of the other Nurofen Specific Pain products.

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