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December 17, 2001 11:41 a.m.
Teva Announces Final Approval of Lovastatin Tablets


Jerusalem, Israel, December 17, 2001 - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA) announced today that it has received final FDA approval of its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Lovastatin Tablets 10, 20 and 40 mg, following the expiration of Merck's period of pediatric exclusivity for Mevacor. Teva had originally received approval in June 2001, but the FDA subsequently awarded six months pediatric exclusivity to Merck. Annual sales of Mevacor are estimated at approximately $200 million, and Teva will launch its Lovastatin tablets immediately.

In other matters, Teva confirmed that a federal judge has ruled in its favor, invalidating one of a group of GlaxoSmithKline patents, otherwise due to expire in 2017-2018, covering the antibiotic Augmentin. Based upon this judgment, Teva is optimistic that the remaining patents in the group will eventually be declared invalid on the same grounds. The court rejected an allegation that a different patent, set to expire in December 2002, was invalid for double patenting.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 40 pharmaceutical companies and among the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. Over 80% of Teva's sales are outside Israel, mainly in North America and Europe. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic and branded human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Safe Harbor Statement under the U. S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on current expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause Teva's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include Teva's ability to successfully develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products, the introduction of competitive generic products, the impact of competition from brand-name companies that sell their own generic products or successfully extend the exclusivity period of their branded products, Teva's ability to rapidly integrate the operations of acquired businesses, the availability of product liability coverage in the current insurance market, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and pending legislation that could affect the pharmaceutical industry, the difficulty of predicting U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and other regulatory authority approvals, the regulatory environment and changes in the health policies and structure of various countries, acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products and new therapies, uncertainties regarding market acceptance of innovative products newly launched, currently being sold or in development, the impact of restructuring of clients, reliance on strategic alliances, exposure to product liability claims, dependence on patent and other protections for innovative products, fluctuations in currency, exchange and interest rates, operating results and other factors that are discussed in Teva's Annual Report on Form 20-F and its other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.