Shopper discovers IDENTICAL medicine being sold in different packaging

Savvy shopper discovers IDENTICAL cold medicine is being sold in two different packages – with one priced at over a POUND more expensive

  • Kirsty Barton discovered identical medicine sold for different prices in UK stores
  • Two Superdrug own brand cold cures had £1.10 difference but same PL number
  • This is unique number given to a specific drug made by a specific manufacturer 
  • Superdrug spokesperson later confirmed the price difference was an error 

A savvy shopper has discovered identical medicine is being sold in two different packages – and you can save almost half the price with a simple check.

Kirsty Barton, from Crawley, was shopping for cold cures in Superdrug when she noticed a huge price difference between two packages of paracetamols.

When she then checked the unique licence number on the side of each box, she was shocked to discover they contained exactly the same medicine.

The two boxes, one a non-drowsy decongestant with paracetamol priced at £2.49, and the other a paracetamol cold relief with decongestant priced at £1.39, were both Superdrug own brand products and each contained 16 capsules. 

A Superdrug spokesperson later confirmed the price difference was an error.  

Kirsty Barton has discovered identical medicine is being sold for very different prices on British high streets (Pictured, two cold cures with very different product licence numbers)


Kirsty was shopping for cold cures in Superdrug when she noticed a huge price difference between two packages of a similar looking product

And when Kirsty picked up the boxes to check the product licence numbers, she discovered they both read ‘PL 12063/0003’. 

The PL number is a unique code given to a certain drug made by a certain manufacturer, meaning that if the number on two products is the same, they contain an identical drug.

Sharing her money saving tip on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group, Kirsty wrote: ‘Noticed this in my local Superdrug, nearly got caught out before I checked the PL number.

‘Saved myself £1.10. Shame on Superdrug and all companies that do this blatant rip off’. 

Sharing her money saving tip on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK Facebook group, Kirsty wrote: ‘Noticed this in my local Superdrug, nearly got caught out before I checked the PL number’

Social media users were shocked by the discovery, with one writing she was ‘disgusted’ shops are allowed to sell identical products for different price

Social media users were shocked by the discovery, with one writing she was ‘disgusted’ shops are allowed to sell identical products for different prices. 

She said: ‘I knew that you’re literally buying the name on the box with some things but I didn’t know how you checked they were the same, disgusting how they’re allowed to do this’. 

Another commented: ‘I always know shop brands are often the same as the brand names (paying for name basically) but never thought to look at more than one item made by shop – that’s even more shocking – thanks for pointing this out’.

And a third added: ‘Thank you for sharing this! Really useful info!’

But others said they were well aware of the money saving hack, and had been routinely checking product licence numbers for ‘years’. 

Others said they were well aware of the money saving hack, and had been routinely checking product licence numbers for ‘years’

‘Yay!! Someone else who checks the codes or ingredients. So many branded medications that have exactly the same as the non branded stuff, but charge you two or three times the amount is shocking,’ one user said.

A second added: ‘I always check the ingredients too. Always worth the extra few minutes checking!’

A Superdrug spokesperson said: ‘Unfortunately the difference in pricing between these two products is down to an error. 

‘Offering everyday health and beauty value to our customers sits at the heart of everything we do and we thank Kirsty for bringing this to our attention. We will be price aligning both products to £1.39.’

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