Will Teva join Big Pharma by 2015?

Five years, twice the revenue. That's what Teva Pharmaceutical Industries chief Shlomo Yanai is predicting: By 2015 his feisty generics company can more than double its annual sales to $31 billion. That would make it big enough to become one of the Top 10 drugmakers worldwide--on the 2008-revenue ranking at least.

We all know Teva likes to think big. But why does Yanai believe the company will have such a growth spurt over the next five years? He says that growing healthcare costs will do the trick. They'll channel governments, payers and patients alike toward generic drugs--like the ones his company sells.

Yanai's predictions came as part of a presentation to analysts. Along the way to 2015, Teva will become more diversified, both product-wise and geography-wise, Yanai says, with the U.S. portion of the business dropping to about half of sales. Big growth will come in central and eastern Europe, plus Japan, he said.

Also less prominent: Dependence on a single product for revenues, CFO Eyal Desheh said. Teva is trying to branch out beyond its branded drug Copaxone, which could see generic competition by 2012. And to reach that doubling-by-2015 goal, branded drug revenues will have to double, too.

- see the Bloomberg piece
- get more from Reuters