ACCC SEEKS BIGGER FINE AGAINST MAKERS OF NUROFEN

ACCC SEEKS BIGGER FINE AGAINST MAKERS OF NUROFEN

RECKITT Benckiser's legal headache has taken another turn after the consumer watchdog appealed an 'inadequate' fine of $1.7 million for misleading customers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a Notice of Appeal from the Federal Court's decision against the pharmaceutical company for contravening the Australian Consumer Law.

Last December, the court found that Reckitt Benckiser made deceptive claims on its website and product packaging that Nurofen Specific Pain products were formulated to treat particular types of pain.

While each of the varieties of back pain, period pain, migraines and tension headaches all contained the company's standard ibuprofen lysine 342mg but sold for almost double the price.

The ACCC argued that the active ingredient is used for a wide variety of conditions and is no more effective at treating the pain of described on its packaging than any other Nurofen Specific Pain products.

Reckitt Benckiser was ordered to pay penalties totalling $1.7 million last month, despite a recommendation for a $6 million fine to send a strong deterrence message. The court found that although the packaging was designed for profit, the product didn't cause any physical harm.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims says the penalty was inadequate considering the longstanding and widespread nature of the conduct and significant profit made.

"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," Sims says.

"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 8500 outlets during the relevant period."

 

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

How communications technology can raise the bar on customer service, employee experience
Partner Content
From capturing feedback early to providing messages with a higher rate of cut-through, ...
Advertisement

Related Stories

Car subscription software company Loopit eyes global markets after $3.6m seed round

Car subscription software company Loopit eyes global markets after $3.6m seed round

In a bid to enter new global markets and capitalise on the growing ...

Fashion-tech startup Citizen Wolf uses data to tailor tees, alleviate landfill

Fashion-tech startup Citizen Wolf uses data to tailor tees, alleviate landfill

As a consequence of our addiction to fast fashion, Australia sends ...

Dexus awards John Holland building contract in $2.1b Waterfront Brisbane project

Dexus awards John Holland building contract in $2.1b Waterfront Brisbane project

After securing an $830 million contract from Dexus (ASX: DXS), Melb...

'The largest event since the Olympics': SXSW goes Down Under with Sydney offshoot

'The largest event since the Olympics': SXSW goes Down Under with Sydney offshoot

For the first time in its 36-year history, the famed SXSW (South by...