So now GSK have moved some of their unethical marketing practices down under it seems..
Investigated for 4 years over Seroxat harming kids in the UK, and a an ongoing serious fraud office investigation there too (and accusations of fraud in several middle eastern countries and eastern European ones)- not to mention being fined 500 dollars in the biggest bribery scandal in China in 2014, and also their 2012 fine of 3 Billion in the US (biggest health care fraud of the time) it seems that GSK has now turned to the countries of the southern hemisphere to continue its fraudulent practices?…
Fair play to Australia for not tolerating GSK’s nefarious conduct..
Australia sues GSK and Novartis over ‘misleading’ marketing Watchdog takes local units to court in crackdown on pharmaceutical sector
Australia’s consumer watchdog is taking the Australian subsidiaries of GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis to court over alleged false or misleading marketing of their pain relief gels. The action is part of a crackdown on “misleading representations” across the pharmaceutical sector by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Last year Reckitt Benckiser, the UK consumer goods group, was fined a record A$6m by an Australian court for making misleading claims about Nurofen, the pain relief drug.
The ACCC’s case against GSK and Novartis centres on what it alleges are “false or misleading representations” claims in the marketing of Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel pain relief products. It alleges the companies marketed Osteo Gel as specifically formulated for treating osteoarthritis conditions and more effective than Emulgel, when the products had identical formulations. “We allege that consumers are likely to have been misled into purchasing Osteo Gel thinking that it is different to Emulgel and more effective for treating osteoarthritis conditions, when this is not the case,” said Rod Sims, ACCC chairman. The ACCC found that Osteo Gel was “sold at a significant price premium to Emulgel”, and alleges that the companies engaged in a deliberate commercial strategy to differentiate the products in a manner to mislead consumers. In price sampling at supermarkets and pharmacies, the ACCC found that Osteo Gel cost as much as 33 per cent more than Emulgel.
“The alleged conduct is particularly concerning, given the significant penalties handed down by the court against the makers of Nurofen for what we consider to be similar conduct,” said Mr Sims. Last year the ACCC successfully sued Reckitt Benckiser for misleading consumers over Nurofen’s painkilling effects, in a legal case and penalty that represented a blow to pharma groups that use branding and marketing to increase sales of medicines. Days after the Australian court ruling, the British Advertising Standards Authority began its own investigation into the marketing of Nurofen in the UK. GSK said it was disappointed by the ACCC legal action.
“Our intention in marketing certain products around symptoms is to help consumers choose a product containing an appropriate active ingredient for their condition from the vast array of options available,” it said in a statement.
“In response to new guidance from the ACCC around expectations of industry regulators and consumers, we proactively made changes” to the packaging of Voltaren Osteo Gel to make it clearer that the formulation is the same as Voltaren Emulgel, GSK added. “We continue to co-operate with the ACCC.” GSK acquired Novartis’s Voltaren products in 2016 and has since been responsible for marketing and selling the products. Novartis said it was aware of the proceedings but directed queries to GSK. “As the ACCC has stated, in 2016 GSK acquired Novartis’s portfolio of Voltaren products and has been responsible for marketing and selling Voltaren products since that time,” Novartis said. The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, a publication order, a compliance programme and costs against the companies.