Nurofen settles $3.5m class action

Nurofen Reckitt BeckinserAustralians who bought a packet of Nurofen between 2011 and 2015 could be compensated after the company that makes the popular painkillers agreed to settle a consumer class action.

Bannister Law on Wednesday said it had reached a $3.5 million settlement with drug company Reckitt Benckiser subject to final approval in the Federal Court.

An independent third party will use the money to reimburse eligible consumers who bought products in the Nurofen Specific Pain Range, the law firm said in a statement.

The firm expects settlement notices will be published in Australian newspapers, calling for people who purchased the products between January 2011 and December 2015 to register a claim.

“Nurofen Australia apologises to our consumers who may have been misled by the Nurofen Specific Pain Range packaging,” the company said in a statement to AAP on Wednesday.

“Nurofen has offered to settle the Specific Pain Range class action in Australia to ensure that consumers who may have been misled are appropriately and swiftly compensated.”

Reckitt Benckiser was previously hit with a $6 million fine over the Nurofen Specific Pain Range in 2016. The consumer watchdog successfully argued in the Federal Court that four of the range’s products – for back pain, period pain, migraines and tension headaches – were chemically identical despite claims they targeted specific pain.

Justice James Edelman ruled Reckitt Benckiser had breached Australian consumer law but noted in his 2016 penalty judgment that the company had since changed its packaging.

The Specific Pain Range costs almost twice as much as other Nurofen ibuprofen products. But the company notes the range contains ibuprofen lysine – a unique formulation that’s absorbed faster than regular ibuprofen.

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