ACCC drags GSK & Novartis to federal court over false product claims
Date: 2017-12-07   Author: Dhananjay Punekar  Category: #news

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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Dhananjay Punekar

Dhananjay Punekar

Dhananjay currently works as a content writer at AlgosOnline. A post graduate in mathematics as well as business administration, he worked as a process executive in Infosys BPO Limited before switching his professional genre. Following his childhood passion, he opted fo...

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