Pfizer, Roche, GSK said to be knocking heads with generics on EU drug tracking

A proposal by the European Union to require unique identifiers on drug packages to fight counterfeiting has sparked a fight between branded makers that say OK and generics companies that claim that it costs too much. The discovery of fake versions of Roche's ($RHHBY) cancer drug Avastin throughout the U.S. in recent months has added to the urgency to create a system that will help the end user know the provenance of a medication. The U.S. also is looking at this kind of track-and-trace program. Beginning in 2016, the EU wants drugs in tamper-proof packs, each with a unique identifier, reports Reuters. It says the plan has the support of companies like Pfizer ($PFE), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Roche that make high-dollar patented drugs that have become targets of counterfeiters, since the move is likely to reinforce the reliability of their brands. Interestingly, some of the same players, like Pfizer, said to be supporting the EU plan are resisting a similar program proposed by the FDA for the U.S. because of the cost. Story | More