Nurofen – the flagship brand of behemoth drug company Reckitt Benckiser – got it wrong.

So very wrong.  The federal Court has stepped in and forced the makers to recall a line of their product “Nurofen For Pain”.

After many years of flogging these products in chemists and supermarts and tricking us all the Government has pulled the plug.

Here then is why the folk at Nurofen did what they did, IMHO (in my humble opinion.)

Read any Drug Guide worth its salt (nice idiom – deliberate, chemical) – say AusDI, MIMS, Martindale— and in the listing under ibuprofen you’ll find a range of uses.

Brainwave – why not re-brand Nurofen as “targeting” specific types of pain – Period, Back, Migraine, Tension Headache?

Attached photo of one such culprit, looking both silvery and pink but not in the least bit guilty.


And so Nurofen Period Pain was born, the brainchild of some boy scout who – while very good at marketing – had no clue about drugs and how they work. No clue.

Dib dib dib, dob dob dob.

Nurofen Period Pain does not target period pain specifically, and leave all the other sorts of pain to languish in obscurity, unaffected like Arnie in a Terminator film.


Here’s an equation for the nerds, which vaguely resembles “science”

(Yelps of Nerdish glee may ensue!)

400-800mg Nurofen Period Pain + Human Being + Glass of water + Food = reduction in pain and inflammation in said Human Being, including pain and inflammation caused by ANY of the following: Period pain AND Back Pain AND Migraine Pain AND Tension Headache AND Dental pain.


(like on Spotify when you just can’t make your listening mind up – too many choices, too many types of pain.)

In short, Nurofen does not know the type of pain you have before you take it. Clever but not THAT smart.

The conclusion – Ibuprofen (the active ingredient of Nurofen) kills pain (1) – and while it kills many types of pain – no particular brand of Nurofen acts upon a particular type of pain exclusively. (see quote above)

The chemists knew, and complained bitterly to the TGA – in fact, as one such one – I haven’t kept the product since St James’ opened (2008)

The supermarts were too busy getting us to do their work for them (self serve) and had no one there who really cared about those sort of things, anyway.

So the years were long, the profits were fat and the pain remained. And nobody really listened – or wanted to listen.

Until the Commonwealth showed up – and put an end to the targeted revelry. Boo hoo!

A reference for the boy scouts-
(1) Australian Drug Information 3rd Edition p1739 Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (Systemic) Accepted indications

It’s behaviour such as this (by Reckitt) which serves only to further weaken the position of trust Pharmacists – as re-sellers of these products – once enjoyed. When you eliminate trust – the value of our knowledge as drug experts is diminished to the point where the goods we sell are no more than commodities bought and sold at the cheapest possible price.

-A. Stute Chemist