St James Pharmacy

The Venerable Apothecary

Tag: nurofen plus (page 1 of 2)

Where Nurofen went wrong, right.

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


Keep Codeine Off Script – Have Your Say!

The proposal is…. well, it’s no good – and here’s why –

You know how it is –

You’ve got a migraine- the flashing lights shine right before your eyes and the pain is on it’s way. It’s not bad pain- you’ve had headaches like this before- but you’ve taken a couple of Panadol and three Nurofen – nothing quite takes the edge off…

Your back hurts. Really hurts. You’ve slipped a disc and because you slept awkwardly last night you’re  finding it hard to move. Back pain creates its own sort of pain – you’ve taken a couple of Panadol- have even broken out the ABC Elastoplast heat plaster for your back. You were saving that plaster for tonight – so you could get a good nights sleep but now, now it just really hurts…

You’ve been to the dentist. She did some canal work on you – you know the deep rooted painful kind of canal work that’s left your teeth damaged and your jaw in agony – you could scream – and you do – into an imagined paper bag, but it’s not enough, never enough. Now if you could only make the pain go away….

Codeine is the answer. (Vote here!)

Now I know that’s not PC – and there’ll be Boy Scouts and Nay Sayers saying that that’s wrong. And sure Codeine isn’t the “entire” answer. But it helps take the edge off -makes the pain bearable.

Now the powers that be at the TGA have suggested codeine be moved to prescription only. I reckon I can name at least two groups who should think this is a bad idea. The first group being folk like me – pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy owners. People who work in and about the pharmacy industry. Codeine is one of the few unique selling propositions remaining to us. So come on pharmacy people – vote for my petition! No point in sitting on your backside and waiting for someone else to do it!

The cost of moving codeine to prescription only will be… too damn high!

The other group who should this change a bad idea is the Australian public.

Anyone who has used #NurofenPlus #Panadeine #Codral #Codis #PanadeineExtra #CodralPE

This sudden and never before seen change is like taking a blunt instrument and trying to cut down the tall tree of misuse and abuse. (did you see what I did there? :-))

The proposal is…. well, it’s no good – and here’s why –
• patients who GENUINELY need it won’t be able to get it.
• it’ll cost too much money
• it’ll cost too much money
• increased GP waiting times
• more folk at A & E when they really don’t need to be

These changes… would have the biggest effect on country people because it costs more to visit a GP in the bush than it does in the big smoke.

So it’s up to you! Get in before 19 November, 2015 (decision day)  – and tell the TGA what you think of their proposal.

This is what they have said

And here is where you can respond.
Don’t wait – apply to the Minister for Health Sussan Ley here and let’s defeat this bill before it’s even carried/motioned/passed. Petition is here.

And here are some funny memes on the subject to keep you entertained while you gather your thoughts and put together your response.

OpiumMeme PicardCodeine TDHCodeine

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