Teva Pharmaceuticals: The Ubiquitous Company You've Never Heard Of

Generic prescription drugs are just that: generic. Most patients don’t think much about who actually manufactures them. It’s pretty likely, however, that you have something in your medicine cabinet manufactured by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. A profile of the company in this past weekend’s New York Times is fascinating. Most interesting of all: while the company is sensibly frugal enough to make Captain Moneycat purr, they refuse to move manufacturing to China or India, as many of their competitors have.

Mr. Marth oversees one of the most important divisions of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, an Israeli enterprise that, despite not being a household name, is the biggest generic drug maker in the world. Teva has secured its rise through aggressive acquisitions, strategic discipline, quality control, low prices and an infectious devotion to corporate frugality.

Last year, the company’s medicines filled nearly 630 million prescriptions in the United States, making it a larger domestic supplier than such pharmaceutical heavyweights as Pfizer, Novartis and Merck — combined. And as low-cost generics continue to make inroads with consumers, Teva occupies a pivotal position in a health care industry undergoing seismic changes that will give millions of more patients access to medicine.

Teva has found success as a manufacturer of generics and aggressively fighting pharmaceutical companies on patents, but they have also begun formulating and marketing their own drugs–you’re most likely to have heard of the birth control pill Seasonique.

That Pill You Took? It May Well Be Theirs [NY Times] (Thanks, Sara!)