AFT shares drop 6.3% after ticking off over Maxiclear marketing

The commission said it won't take further action.

AFT Pharmaceutical shares dropped 6.3 percent on very thin volumes after the maker of Maxigesic was one of two companies warned by the Commerce Commission over the marketing and packaging of painkillers.

The shares fell 18 cents to $2.66 with just 5,000 shares changing hands after the regulator said it warned AFT and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare New Zealand that the packaging and marketing of various painkillers probably breached the Fair Trading Act by claiming to treat specific ailments. The regulator won a case against Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) earlier this year over similar marketing of its Nurofen range.

"The products in each pair had the same active ingredients but were packaged and marketed for different therapeutic purposes," commissioner Anna Rawlings said in a statement. "We concluded that consumers were likely to think that the products were different and treated separate specified ailments."

The products included some AFT Maxiclear packs and some of GSK's Voltaren and Panadol range.

The commission said it won't take further action on the expectation the companies make sure their products comply with the law and will take the warning letters into account if there are any future issues.

"We are satisfied with the changes the companies have made, or are in the process of making, in response to our concerns," Rawlings said. "This will help consumers to use the information on the box to make informed choices about the products they need, which is especially important when it comes to healthcare product."


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