Australians shouting at Nurofen packaging
The makers of the drugs, UK based Reckitt Benckiser, make a host of drugs which say they treat specific pains, like migraines and the like. However, the court says that they're all identical to each other, so they need to stop pretending otherwise. Whether this will have a knock-on over here, remains to be seen.
So what have Nurofen got to say for themselves? Well, these products were "designed to help the consumer easily navigate our range". Not because they're necessarily different, but rather, because they're easy to read.
"Consumer research indicates that 9 in 10 people (88%) look for pain relief for a specific type of pain (eg headache, migraine, back pain) and 7 in 10 (71%) say pain-specific packs help them decide which product is best for their needs," said Dr Aomesh Bhatt, regulatory and medical affairs director for Nurofen.
Either way, this court order will affect products on sale in Australia, which include Nurofen Back Pain, Nurofen Period Pain, Nurofen Migraine Pain and Nurofen Tension Headache.
This all came about after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought the matter to everyone's attention. The ACCC said the court had found the firm had "engaged in misleading conduct in contravention of the Australian consumer law by representing that its Nurofen Specific Pain products were each formulated to treat a specific type of pain, when the products are identical".
The watchdog added that these products were found to be "no more effective at treating the type of pain described on its packaging than any of the other Nurofen specific pain products". Oh, and they're sold for almost double the price of standard Nurofen.
Now, for the time being, this won't apply to the UK market, but now this has all come to light, you can guarantee that there's going to be an investigation into all this, so we'll keep tabs on it. In the meantime, stop ripping yourself off by buying things that are more expensive, for no good reason.