Canines ID Pfizer fakes, discern brands

Pfizer's ($PFE) Israeli unit is lending a paw--actually, 8 paws--to help Finland crack down on counterfeit Viagra. Canines Springer and Willem can sniff out the top-selling erectile-dysfunction treatment, even in well-hidden drug containers.

The specially trained dogs, who are unable to find Viagra competitors Cialis and Levitra because of their different-smelling APIs, are one tactic in Big Pharma's anti-counterfeiting strategy. Israel has the eighth highest amount of counterfeit drugs in the world, according to 121doc, hence its dedication to finding solutions to the problem. And as one of the most-faked drugs, Viagra likely drove Pfizer's development of its own counterfeits investigative staff to work with government and law enforcement.

The Israeli loan follows Springer's apparent success this spring in discerning legitimate from illegal and counterfeit drugs in piles of postal packages. Springer hails from The Netherlands and is described as "very peaceful" at home.

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