Israel-based generic drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical announced a jump in Q4 profits amidst warnings that the company must reduce its dependence on specific products.

Particular attention was drawn to the company’s multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone, which faces generic and brand competition in the near future that could pose a significant drain on profits.

Q4 sales rose 28% to $5.7bn, with Copaxone rising 8% to contribute $1bn in sales due to a price rise, although analysts predict that sales of the drug will peak in 2012.

Q4 earnings excluding one-off items rose above expectations to $1.59 per diluted share, with Teva president and CEO Shlomo Yanai praising the company’s 2011 performance.

"Our strategic achievements in 2011 provide a strong foundation for Teva’s sustainable long term growth," said Yanai.

The problem of generic competition to one of its two brand drugs is likely to be solved through the acquisition of companies, building on Teva’s 2011 acquisitions of Cephalon and Taiyo although CEO-to-be Jeremy Levin, due to replace the departing Shlomo Yanai, has refused to divulge his future strategy.

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