Reckitt Benckiser's Nurofen fine has been tripled by an Australian court after a consumer watchdog appealed

 
Caitlin Morrison
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An Australian court has tripled the fine imposed on Reckitt Benckiser over claims it misled customers over Nurofen to AU$6m (£3.5m).

Shares in company behind Durex and Dettol were down 1.3 per cent in early trading.

The British drug manufacturer was initially handed a $1.7m fine earlier this year, however, Australia's competition and consumer watchdog appealed and said the first penalty was too small.

The fine was handed down after the court decided that Nurofen products advertised as being aimed at specific pains were misleading, because the active ingredient in the medication treated various ailments rather than targeting the conditions described in the statements

.In December last year, the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) revealed that it had launched an investigation into the advertising for Nurofen, on the grounds that consumers may have been misled.

Meanwhile, in January 2015, Reckitt Benckiser was fined £539,800 by the Financial Conduct Authority for “inadequate systems and controls to monitor share-dealing by its senior executives in its own shares”, which led to late and incomplete disclosure of share dealings to the market.

The company has also been dented by reputation damage in Korea after it accepted that one of its products was responsible for a spate of fatal lung problems, which was a major factor in the sales slowdown Reckitt Benckiser reported in October this year.

Reckitt Benckiser has been contacted for comment.

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