The manufacturer behind painkiller Nurofen will be paying out compensation to consumers who may have been “misled” by it’s Specific Pain Range products.

The manufacturer has $3.5 million in compensation to pay after settling a consumer class action. The Federal Court ruled four of the Specific Pain Range – for back pain, tension headaches, migraines and period pain – were all in fact chemically identical. The Specific Pain Range was almost double the price of regular Nurofen to boot.

Hunter consumers eligible for compensation are anyone who bought the products between 2011 and 2015.


Nicky Breen from consumer advocacy group CHOICE says the company was fined $6 million in court earlier this year and compared to their income, it’s really not a lot of money.

“It sounds like a lot of cash but when we compare it to estimates and the amount of money they made off selling these targeted pain relief products which is tens of millions of dollars – unfortunately collectively, these figures at the moment, they just become a part of doing business,” said Nicky Breen.
The Federal Court ruled the company breached Australian consumer law but did note that they had moved to change its packaging.
“At the heart of this matter is a company that has basically breached consumer law in order to maximise its profits and unfortunately, settlements and current penalties don’t do enough to act as a deterrent for this kind of behaviour,” said Nicky Breen.
CHOICE are seeing the whole situation as an opportunity to look into Australian Consumer Law which is currently under review and use the time to make the recommendations being suggested.
“Companies who are caught conning consumers instead of facing these penalties they should cop a fine of up to $10 million, three times the profit they made as a result of breaking the law or 10 per cent of their annual turnover. These are the recommendations for changes in the legislation and that’s what we want to see happen,” said Nicky Breen.