ACCC drags GSK & Novartis to federal court over false product claims

Date: 2017-12-07   Author: Saipriya Iyer  Category: #news

ACCC drags GSK & Novartis to federal court over false product claims

In what may seem to be a major jolt to the pharmaceutical sector, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has filed a legal suit against GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis in the Federal Court of Australia in the context of making false claims over the effective use of Osteo gel & Voltaren Emulgel to treat osteoarthritis. The ACCC has charged the firms on the grounds of incorrect marketing tactics that have misguided patients to pay more for the products to treat osteoarthritis. This is the second such litigation filed by the ACCC against any drug maker.

Sources have stated that in 2016, ACCC filed a lawsuit against Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc in the federal court of Australia, citing the reason that the latter had engaged in deceptive promotional practices by falsely claiming its Nurofen product to possess the ability to treat a specific kind of pain. The federal court had then slapped a USD 6 million fine for Benckiser after finding that the product contained Ibuprofen lysine 342mg - the same active constituent in other generic medicines.

A key official of ACCC, condemning the misleading claims made by pharma giants stated that the products targeted the older section of the patient population, who were more prone to get affected by osteoarthritis. According to him, most of the patients buy both Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel, armed with the assumption that they would require both the products, and end up spending more on osteoarthritis treatment.

However, GSK, which purchased Voltaren from Novartis in 2016, refuted the allegations made by ACCC, claiming that though the formulas of both the gels were similar, Osteo Gel possessed an easy-to-open cap and its use in osteoarthritis was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over two million of the Australian populace suffers from osteoarthritis. Some of the patient groups such as Arthritis Australia have also apparently raised voice against misleading promotional activities carried out by the reputed pharma firms for its products that possess no additional features.



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Saipriya Iyer

Saipriya Iyer currently works as a content developer for AlgosOnline. A computer engineer by profession, she ventured into the field of writing for the love of playing with words. Having had a previous experience of 3 years under her belt, she has dabbled with website...

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