Teva Pharmaceutical of Israel is number 20 on BusinessWeek‘s World’s Best Companies 2009/Global Top 40 list compiled by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

Based in Petah Tikva, east of Tel Aviv, Teva is among the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world and one of the largest generic pharmaceuticals manufacturers. Founded in 1901 the company produces generic drugs faster and in greater quantities than its competition, and is also the only generic drug maker with its own branded drug, Copaxone, for treatment of multiple sclerosis.

With 38,000 employees worldwide, more than 80 percent of Teva’s sales (over $11 billion in 2008) are in the US and Europe. The generics market worldwide is growing much faster than the prescription business as governments and insurers push for the use of less expensive generics.

A.T. Kearney examined the 2,500 largest publicly listed companies and singled out those with a minimum of $10 billion in sales in 2008, at least 25% of which came from outside the company’s home region.

It then ranked the companies on their sales growth and value creation – the rise of market capitalization after subtracting any increase in capital – over the past five years.

The 40 companies come from 18 countries and industries ranging from chemicals and contracting to software and shipbuilding.