Strepfen advertising ban
PHARMACY pointof-sale advertising comparing Reckitt Benckiser’s Strepfen with iNova’s Difflam has been permanently barred, with the
Federal Court last Fri finalising proceedings in a case brought by iNova earlier this year alleging misleading or deceptive conduct.
The offending advertisement (pictured) relied on a 2001 Sydney University study undertaken by Professor S.I. Benrimoj, but did not differentiate between the various Difflam products and in particular the stronger Difflam Plus variety.
An interlocutory order in Aug required Reckitt Benckiser (RB) to make a written request to each pharmacy in which the advertising appeared, asking that the Strepfen point of sale posters be removed from display until further notice.
Subsequent to that hearing, a judgement published in late
Sep gave reasons for the orders, which particularly centred on claims of “longer lasting relief” which were disputed by iNova on the basis of inclusion and exclusion criteria in the Benrimoj study, as well as representations on the poster which relied on claims made on standard Difflam packet notations.
Last Fri’s orders finalised the case, meaning RB is restrained from further distributing the Strepfen poster and similar electronic billboard advertisements.
The case notes indicated Difflam holds the largest market share in pharmacies by value for the medicated throat products category, at around 40%, and the lozenges category, around 44%.