The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has ordered Nurofen to stop claiming that its pain killers target the source of pain. The TGA argues that while the maceutical ingredient ibuprofen can provide broader pain relief, it does not provide specific relief to target areas, contrary to Nurofen's advertisements.
Nurofen has been forced to face the TGA's complaints resolution panel over claims that its medication products target the source or cause of pain. The panel had received two complaints from the public over misleading statements the brand had made in its advertisements. The complainants provided a smorgasbord of evidence including televised ads, slogans and website pages.
Below is a typical example that was submitted to the TGA by Dr Ken Harvey:
"When you need pain relief, you know exactly where you need it. Nurofen knows this. That's why it's designed to work with your body and act at the site of the pain. Giving you smart relief right where you need it. Nurofen targeted relief; smart relief."
The TGA determined that the above claim and other like it are in breach of certain section of the Advertising Code and ordered the company to withdraw any representations that the advertised products target the source of pain or cause of pain.
If you actually take the time to read the labels on pain relief products, this verdict shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Any "targeted relief" claims made by over-the-counter pain killers are usually pretty dubious; especially if the product highlights specific body areas. Indeed, some brands market multiple products for different ailments despite containing identical ingredients — as always, you should take any advertising claims with a huge grain of salt; especially when it comes to medicine.
Nurofen Complaints Resolution Panel Determination [Therapeutic Goods Administration]