Hit or Miss? Reckitt Benckiser recalls Nurofen Plus over sabotage fears

Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser was forced to recall all packets of its over-the-counter painkiller, Nurofen Plus, amid fears that they had been sabotaged with antipsychotic drugs.

Reckitt Benckiser: recalls Nurofen Plus
Reckitt Benckiser: recalls Nurofen Plus

The recall was triggered last week after several packets of the headache pills were found to contain Seroquel XL, a drug used for treating schizophrenia. The story was front-page news as initial reports blamed animal rights activists.


Ayesha Bharmal, Associate director, Fishburn Hedges

Someone ought to let the folk at Nurofen and Reckitt Benckiser know that silence is never golden in a crisis. Nearly 24 hours after the issue was first reported, direct comment from Nurofen was minimal, information on its website was scant, and there was no mention at all on the brand's Facebook page or Twitter feed. Speculation on spiking, sabotage and the like remained unchecked.

So step up the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, which seemed to have understood the need to reassure the public and answer basic questions such as 'how do I know if I've bought a dodgy pack?' and 'what happens if I've taken an anti-psychotic for my headache?'. The society's head of corporate comms Neal Patel, gave a measured and reassuring response on the Today programme.

Perhaps he could teach a thing or two to the brand as it decides how to respond to the bigger questions of how it happened and what's being done to sort it out.


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