Pain relief drugs: Panadol and Nurofen

Drug companies have convinced consumers to pay much more for paracetamol and ibuprofen than they need to.
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03.Generic pain relief drugs

Beyond branded paracetamol and ibuprofen, OTC pain relief medicines sold in Australia are manufactured by a limited number of companies. Various drug companies manufacture generic painkillers in order for private labels to apply their own branding. 

Generic OTC pain relief medicines sold in Australia are manufactured by a limited number of companies.

Nova Pharmaceuticals, for example, manufactures OTC paracetamol for Aldi (Hedanol) and Coles (private label and MediChoice) in India. All three paracetamol tablets contain 500mg of active ingredient paracetamol, and again look remarkably similar. 

While the inactive ingredients may be different, this does not affect the efficacy of the drug (although they’re worth checking with your pharmacist if you have any allergies or intolerances). Neither Nova Pharmaceuticals nor Coles would comment on whether these were in fact exactly the same products. 

Nova Pharmaceuticals' various paracetamol brands

 MediChoice (Coles) paracetamol capsule-shaped tablets Coles’ paracetamol capsule-shaped tablets  Hedanol (Aldi) capsule-shaped tablets 
 Medichoice paracetamol  Coles paracetamol  Hedanol paracetamol
 10c each*  5c each*  3c each*
 500mg paracetamol  500mg paracetamol  500mg paracetamol

*In-store prices from Sydney supermarkets in April 2014.

Woolworths' branded pain relief medication

Woolworths also lines up a home brand paracetamol against its own premium brand Woolworths Select medication.

Woolworths Homebrand
paracetamol capsules 
Woolworths Select
paracetamol caplets 
 Woolworths homebrand paracetamol  Woolworths Select paracetamol
 4c each*  16c each*
 500mg paracetamol  500mg paracetamol
 Made in Australia  Made in India

* In-store prices from Sydney supermarkets in March 2014

Do fast-acting claims really mean anything?


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