“When I decided to sell Novopharm in 1999, I knew there were other companies that would be willing to pay more,” Leslie Lewis Dan confesses from across a boardroom table. “But I decided to call Eli Hurvitz, anyway, and he was interested, so I flew down to New York City to meet him.”

"We met in a hotel downtown. Two hours later, the deal was done,” says Dan, cracking a smile. “The rest were just details.”

Dan speaks fondly of the late, Eli Hurvitz, who was then Chairman of the Board and CEO of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Hurvitz's decision to purchase Novopharm would lead to the establishment of Teva Canada Limited, which continues to operate in Stouffville, Ontario, less than an hour north of Toronto. Dan remains the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Dan joined members of Teva Canada's leadership team, Invest in Ontario and a group of journalists from Israel to discuss the company's success and later to tour Teva's Stouffville plant.

Talented, loyal staff support Teva Canada's domestic and international success

While Teva Canada's rapid growth has brought about significant change to its facilities, Dan encounters many familiar faces while walking its hallways, including Paul Murray, who has been with the company's shipping department for over 35 years. Teva Canada's Head of Operations, Paolo Fiorino, believes Murray is one of many examples that reinforce the role Teva's people and culture have played in getting them to where they are today. “Thanks to our people, we are leading and setting the bar when it comes to a number of performance metrics here at Teva Canada,” says Fiorino.

Over the past 16 years, Teva Canada has become one of the country's largest pharmaceutical companies, with more than 75 million prescriptions filled annually. Headquartered in Toronto, the company offers more than 675 products, while employing 1,400 people. Teva Canada's Solid Dose Operations in Stouffville is one of the largest such facilities in North America, while their Markham facility is the largest penicillin plant in North America, producing 50% of the amoxicillin used on the continent.

“It sure has changed a lot,” Dan tells a journalist while our group stands in between two air-locked doors waiting to enter a production room. “This part of the building didn't even exist three years ago,” referring to an expansion that was built to support the production of increasingly complex products. The move has helped lift the pharmaceutical company into the top five in Canada according to sales revenue, with over $1-billion reported annually.

Fiorino is confident that the company's success will continue. “Not only do we feel Teva Canada is well-positioned here in Ontario, says Fiorino, “but we believe we'll experience sustained growth, serving not only the market in Canada but also North America and Europe.”

Learn more about Ontario's powerful pharmaceutical sector

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