Packaging claims have cost Nurofen’s distributor Reckitt Benckiser $1.08 million, after Auckland District Court Judge June Jelas found the offending was “blatant misleading conduct”.

In a media release, Nurofen acknowledges the judgment relating to the historical marketing of its specific-pain range.

The media release states: “We have cooperated fully with the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) in its investigation and we have taken corrective action to amend the packaging, remove the webpages, made admissions to the charges and acknowledge with deep regret any confusion caused.

“Nurofen takes this judgment very seriously and apologises for any unintentional confusion related to the specific-pain range packaging where NZ consumers could have been misled, this was never our intention.

“We will work hard with consumers and key opinion-formers to ensure something like this cannot happen again and to demonstrate our sincerity.

“The Nurofen specific-pain range was launched in New Zealand to provide easy navigation of pain-relief within the grocery environment where pharmacy support is not available. The packaging of all Nurofen specific-pain products in New Zealand was changed in March this year as a result of an agreement with NZCC to clarify that the different products could be used to treat other forms of pain.”

“The Nurofen specific-pain range in New Zealand includes three products – Nurofen Migraine Pain, Nurofen Period Pain and Nurofen Back Pain. There are four products in the range in Australia.

“There was no issue regarding Nurofen specific-pain range’s product safety or effectiveness. The active ingredient and dosage were set out on the packaging, which also included a warning not to take with other ibuprofen based products. The products were effective in treating the pain represented on the packaging. The issue before the Court was that the packaging, and for a short period the website, may have represented that each specific-pain product only treated one type of pain when the products in the range shared the same formulation.”

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