Pfizer Israel: Viagra sniffer dogs sent to Finland

Sniffer dogs have never been used in Finland before to detect counterfeit medications.

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July 29, 2011 05:07
1 minute read.
Pfizer Israel: Viagra sniffer dogs sent to Finland

sniffer dog ecstasy . (photo credit: Channel 2 [file])

 
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Two specially trained dogs are being used by Pfizer, the company that developed and markets the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra, to sniff out counterfeit Viagra pills for the customs authorities in Finland, according to Pfizer Israel.

It is the first time sniffer dogs have been used in Finland to detect counterfeit medications, which can be detected even if they’re well-packed.

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The dogs – Springer, a mixed breed of spaniel and border collie, and Willem, a pointer, were trained in the Netherlands. They have already been dubbed “Viagra dogs.”

According to Pfizer Israel, the dogs cannot detect the two other brands of erectile dysfunction drugs of Cialis and Levitra, as these are made of a different, though similar molecule and would have a different smell to the dogs than Viagra, whose generic name is sildenafil citrate.

Israel, through Mickey Arieli, head of the Health Ministry’s pharmaceutical-crime unit, has for several years been working to reduce the import and sales of counterfeit erectile-dysfunction drugs, as the phony pills may be not only harmless sugar pills but instead contain dangerous active ingredients that could harm and even kill those who take them.

Among the 10 countries with the most counterfeit drugs, Israel is number eight, according to Pfizer and Arieli. In developing countries, one in every 10 medications sold is counterfeit.

One out of every 100 Israelis has purchased counterfeit drugs without their knowledge via Internet, street sales, newspaper ads, personal imports and occasionally even pharmacies. According to a Pfizer Israel poll, only 12 percent of men and 7% of women are aware of the fact that most pills against impotence that are sold via the Internet are fake. Counterfeit drugs are smuggled into Israel via China and Arab countries, with some of those involved financed by terror organizations around the world that use profits from drug counterfeiting to fund terror activities.

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