Teva and Its Aggressive External Growth Strategy: The Python That Choked on an Elephant

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In December 2017, with profits down and debt greater than the value of the company, the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva announced it would lay off one-quarter of its 56,000 employees worldwide, including about 2,000 in Israel. Recently, in the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. authorities have been approving more generic drugs (drugs whose patents have expired and fallen into the public domain), which increases the competition for Teva products, and at the same time, drug wholesale buyers are consolidating to become stronger companies. This situation hinders Teva, which creates a need to settle the crucial question of corporate strategy: should Teva continue to rely heavily on generic drugs or have a more diversified product portfolio? In either case, the dilemma facing Teva is how to grow and create value in generics, its core competency in a market where some big buyers impose ever-decreasing prices.

Students are led to perform a comprehensive analysis of Teva’s strategy of external growth through acquisition over the last 5 years to extract the factors that led to the current dilemma.

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