Media Releases

Commission reaches agreement to repackage Nurofen specific pain range

23 December 2015

The Commerce Commission has reached an agreement with Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) Limited under which the pharmaceutical company will stop New Zealand sales of its Nurofen specific pain range products in their current packaging by March 2016.

The Nurofen specific pain range products are:

  • Nurofen Migraine Pain ibuprofen lysine 342 mg blister pack;
  • Nurofen Period Pain ibuprofen lysine 342mg tablet blister pack; and
  • Nurofen Back Pain ibuprofen lysine 342 mg tablet blister pack.

The Commission is investigating concerns that the current packaging of these specific pain range products is misleading and deceptive.

The New Zealand company has cooperated with the Commission to provide enforceable undertakings, following legal action in Australia in which Reckitt Benckiser (Australia) Limited admitted that the products breached the Australian Consumer Law. The Federal Court of Australia ordered by consent that the company had engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by representing that each product in the Nurofen specific pain range was specifically formulated to treat a particular type of pain when the products are identical.

In both countries, the products cannot be supplied in their current packaging beyond March 2016. A temporary packaging arrangement has been agreed that will see the products being sold with amended labels that will disclose that the products are equally effective for other forms of pain.

The Commission’s investigation is continuing and is expected to be completed in early 2016. Its concerns are focused on representations made on packaging, and are not about the safety of the product.

If anyone has concerns about the products please speak to your health professional or call Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) Limited on 0508 731 234.


The enforceable undertakings can be viewed on the enforcement response register.

The orders of the Federal Court of Australia can be viewed online.

An image of the Nurofen packaging is available here.

It was incorrectly reported in the media that the specific pain range Nurofen products had already been taken off the shelves in Australia. The company has until March 2016 to stop the retail sale of this medicine in its current packaging in Australia and New Zealand.

Enforceable undertakings were introduced as part of the law changes in the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2013 and allow the Commission to apply to the court to enforce an undertaking if a trader is not abiding by its terms. The changes also brought in much higher penalties for breaches of the Act.