Our history

Honouring our past, leading the future

As one of the first generic pharmaceutical companies in Canada, Teva Canada’s history is long and eventful. We are proud of the pioneering spirit of our beginnings and of our years serving the needs of Canadian healthcare. We’re also excited about the opportunities on the horizon.


Leslie Lewis Dan

On November 15, 1947, Leslie Lewis Dan, a young war refugee, arrived on Canada’s shores with $10 in his pocket, a limited knowledge of English, and a dream.


Dan opened International Pharmacy, a company that arranged for the translation and shipment of foreign prescriptions. Operating out of a back room, International Pharmacy was soon filling 20,000 prescriptions a year.


Leslie Dan

Dan established Interpharm Ltd. to introduce Calmex, a replacement for the tranquilizer meprobamate, which was changed from an over-the-counter product to a prescription product.


Novopharm Ltd.

The need for affordable pharmaceuticals was growing in Canada. Dan rented a 2,000-square-foot warehouse in Don Mills, Toronto and, with only one product—the antibiotic tetracycline—and 10 employees, launched Novopharm Ltd.


Stanley Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Novopharm’s success in its early years was evidenced by Dan’s purchase of Canada’s largest vitamin and over-the-counter drug manufacturer, Stanley Pharmaceuticals Ltd.


Novopharm grows to employ 230 people in facilities encompassing 80,000 square feet.



1980s Dramatic growth continued through the 1980s, with expansion into the Canadian hospital market and the U.S. pharmaceutical market.



Recognizing the plight of those less fortunate, Dan created the Canadian Medicine Aid Program (CAN-MAP), an organization that donates medicines and other aid to developing countries.


Granutec Inc.

As global demand for affordable pharmaceuticals increased, Dan repositions Novopharm for the world stage, with the purchase of the McNeil manufacturing facility in Stouffville, Ontario, and private-label U.S. manufacturer, Granutec Inc. and an interest in Hungarian company Human Serum & Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Co. Ltd.


Novopharm celebrated its 25th anniversary by moving into a new, 250,000-square-foot head office facility on Nably Court. Expansion continued with the addition of Novopharm Biotech Inc. and HumanPharma.


After only four years of occupancy, a $7-million expansion to the office facility was undertaken. Additional improvements were also made to facilities in Markham and Stouffville.


Wampole v

Novopharm celebrated its 30th anniversary, and Dan’s dream showed no signs of stopping. He purchased a majority share of Human, acquired Rhone Poulenc Rorer’s facility in Montreal, Quebec, and bought Wampole Canada Inc. With a reverse takeover of Hygeia Holdings Inc., Novopharm Biotech went public.


Novopharm international

Novopharm International created to develop business alliances in international markets, and Novopharm’s Animal Health Division was launched to service a new market of veterinary customers.



The 11,000-square-foot head office expansion begun in 1994 was completed. At the grand opening, in acknowledgement of the company’s contribution to the city’s economic growth, the renaming of Nably Court to “Novopharm Court” was announced. Edith Montgomery, City Councillor for Ward 14, presented a street sign to Dan and then-president Dr. Jacques Messier.



A well-publicized, seven-year patent battle with GlaxoSmithKline was resolved in Novopharm’s favour. Ranitidine, the first generic Zantac, was the largest launch in the history of the company, placing Novopharm on the world map as an international player.



Novopharm announced the official opening of its 250,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in North Carolina, Novopharm N.C.


Knowing the new millennium would bring greater challenges and competition than the industry had ever seen, Dan allies Novopharm with a company whose vision complemented his own: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.


Teva novopharm

Teva’s mandate is to become the world’s largest provider of generic pharmaceuticals. The addition of Novopharm on April 4, 2000 was a significant step toward that goal.


University of Toronto

The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, opened. The $75-million project included a new teaching and research facility to accommodate approximately 1,000 students. Expanded faculty complemented innovative new programs and first-class research.


barr laboratories, Inc.

Teva acquired Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the world’s fourth-largest generic drug company. This acquisition further enhanced Teva’s leadership position and significant presence in over 60 countries around the world.



Teva completed the acquisition of ratiopharm. Following the acquisition, Teva became the number one generic company in Europe, holding the leading market position in 10 countries, as well as ranking in the top three in seven additional countries. In addition, the transaction significantly increasing Teva's position in Canada.


United Nations Global Compact

Teva continues to strengthen its commitment to shaping a sustainable future by joining the United Nations Global Compact. The UN Global Compact requires participating companies to produce an annual report outlining efforts to operate responsibly and support society.



Teva acquired Cephalon, Inc. to diversify and expand its portfolio of branded and specialty pharmaceuticals, including the areas of the central nervous system and oncology.


Teva began the global integration of its existing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Teva’s first CSR report reflects a united commitment to responsible global business activities that contribute to society.




Teva acquired MicroDose Therapeutx, expanding Teva’s respiratory and drug delivery portfolios.


AUSPEX Pharmceuticals

Teva acquired Auspex, strengthening its core central nervous system (CNS) portfolio and providing new treatment options for patients with movement disorders.



Health Partners International Canada (HPIC) – a not-for-profit relief and development organization becomes the exclusive distributor of Teva Canada’s medication donations to developing countries and disaster relief areas around the world.


Teva acquires Actavis Generics - bringing together two leading generics businesses with complementary strengths, R&D capabilities, product pipelines and portfolios, geographical footprints, operational networks and cultures.


Teva launches a new brand positioning and visual identity. It incorporates the vision of a restructured company with the untold story of how Teva impacts’ the lives of millions of people every day.


Teva establishes a North America Research & Development (R&D) campus. With the purchase of three additional buildings in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the focus is on biologics, a core R&D platform on which the company continues to build for future growth.


Tel-Aviv university

Teva and Tel-Aviv University expand their scientific collaboration. Leading Teva and Tel Aviv University (TAU) researchers will work on advancing innovative R&D in the fields of cancer and brain studies.


Locally, Teva Canada has been improving Canadian’s lives for over 55 years by providing affordable healthcare solutions. Today, Teva’s high-quality generic prescription medicines and innovative branded products are used to fill over 220,000 prescriptions each day.

Globally, for more than a century, patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers have used Teva medicines and products. As the global leader in generic medicine, nearly 200 million people across six continents take one of our products every day. We also invest hundreds of millions of dollars every year to help our scientists develop specialty and biopharmaceutical treatments that aim to increase access and improve patients’ health. Since Teva’s establishment in 1901 in Jerusalem, our leadership in healthcare has been marked by tenacity, entrepreneurial spirit, and an aspiration to improve people's lives. This defines how we do business and motivates thousands of Teva employees all over the world, every single day.