Novartis provided Slovenia USD 500,000 in grants to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Novartis, a part of which are Lek d.d., Sandoz d.d. and Novartis Pharma Services donated to the Slovenian Red Cross and the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth USD 500,000 from the Novartis’ Global Fund to support their efforts to mitigate the pandemic caused by the new Coronavirus
  • A USD 20 million global fund is dedicated to support impacted communities and is part of a broad range of Novartis’ initiatives to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • In addition to the financial donation, Novartis in Slovenia has now started to manufacture its own disinfectant and donated it together with other protective equipment to health institutions and homes for the elderly across Slovenia
  • In doing so, Novartis realizes a key part of its mission that it lives every day – to give back to society in which it operates.
27. 3. 2020

As part of its global initiative to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical company Novartis has created a USD 20 million global fund. This financial support is dedicated for countries and communities around the world most impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak, including Slovenia. As part of this initiative, they dedicated USD 500,000 to the Slovenian Red Cross (USD 400,000) and the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth (USD 100,000) to support their efforts to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

They have decided to take this step because they want, in these extremely challenging times that require a high level of cooperation of all key stakeholders, governments, businesses and individuals, to help those who need help the most. Part of the grant will be administered in accordance with the guidance of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and dedicated to the Slovenian Red Cross. The latter will release the funds according to the needs of the Civil Protection Service, at present primarily for the purchase of personal protective equipment, which is extremely important at the moment.

Novartis in Slovenia is well aware of the fact that the consequences of the current situation will be most felt by the already vulnerable social groups, which certainly include children from socially deprived families who need to be especially protected. Therefore, they decided to dedicate part of the grant to the Slovenian Association of Friends of Youth, a longstanding partner whose primary concern at this point in time is to provide food for the deprived, and will play an increasingly important role in the coming weeks and months.

In these extraordinary times, Slovenia is also facing a shortage of protective equipment which is essential for the safety of healthcare workers and patients. Novartis in Slovenia has until today donated 2,000 liters of disinfectant and personal protective equipment to more than 15 health centers, hospitals and homes for the elderly across Slovenia. The hand sanitizer agent, key for preventing the spread of infections, was manufactured by the company itself. The project was the result of a rapid response and outstanding cross-team cooperation from different Novartis sites in Slovenia; that set up production in record time, arranged appropriate packaging and organized filling and distribution of the disinfectants. 

When announcing the donation, Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President Slovenia, said: »As a pharmaceutical company, we have an additional responsibility for the health and safety of our people, both our associates and patients at home and abroad. Therefore, ensuring the manufacture of life-saving medicines, taking into account all measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus, is our first priority right now. At the same time, we are aware that it is the responsibility of all of us to do everything we can to help the most vulnerable groups that are pushed into even greater hardship by the pandemic, and enable all those in the front lines, the highest possible level of safety whilst carrying out their vital work.    

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Novartis will continue to take care of the safety of its associates and patients around the world. It has also entered new collaborative research efforts, maintaining a stable supply and pricing of essential medicines and providing help and support to communities where it operates. Through donations, also in Slovenia, it contributes to the fundamental goal – to protect public health and prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus infection.

More information on Novartis’ response to the pandemic is available at and

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek, Novartis Pharma Services and Sandoz, operate. Together we are building and maintaining the reputation of a dynamic, ethical, and trusted pharmaceutical company. Lek develops, manufactures, and markets effective, safe, and high quality medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients. With our knowledge, quality, and experience we have gained an important role in Novartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis Technical Operations, Global Drug Development, Novartis Business Services, and the generic division Sandoz. We are the leading Sandoz development center, and one of the key development sites for technologically complex projects. We invest a great deal in the development, education, and training of our employees. Over the last eight years, the company has created more than 2,700 jobs, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.5 billion since 2003. 

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2019 sales of USD 9.7 billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @SandozGlobal at

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 145 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at 

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This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications 
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32