Novartis in Slovenia rounded off 2020 with the »Top Employer« certificate

  • Health and  safety of the associates as well as ensuring the uninterrupted supply of vital  medicines for patients were the key guiding principles for Novartis operations  in Slovenia during the pandemic.
  • They are the first pharmaceutical company in  Slovenia to be awarded the prestigious international »Top Employer« certificate  for the best employer in Slovenia
  • Achieving  ambitious business results in changed working conditions is the outcome of a  strong organizational culture and an inspiring work environment that create  empowered, motivated and engaged employees
  • In 2020, the  company hired 649 full-time associates. At the end of the year, Novartis had  more than 4,890 full-time associates in Slovenia. The year was  also successful in terms of innovations, awards and recognitions presented to  the experts of Novartis in Slovenia.
26. 1. 2021

Novartis in Slovenia, operating through Lek d. d., Novartis Pharma Services Inc. Branch office Slovenia and Sandoz d. d., achieved ambitious goals in 2020 despite the challenging situation posed by the covid-19 pandemic. The superior performance and innovation in development, production, sales and services significantly contributed to Novartis strategy to become the leading pharmaceutical company in the world.

Novartis  in Slovenia continued to focus on talent acquisition and wellbeing of the  employees
Responsibility towards employees, who play an essential role in ensuring a timely and high-quality supply of vital medicines to patients, was the guiding principle of Novartis in Slovenia also in its response to the epidemic. The employees quickly adapted to the changed operating conditions and maintained their engagement, motivation and efficiency. All this, as well as excellent HR practices and development programs, were recognized by the independent Top Employers Institute. Novartis in Slovenia is the first pharmaceutical company in Slovenia to be awarded the prestigious international »Top Employer« certificate. The certificate, which only a handful of Slovenian employers can boast at the national level, is awarded on the basis of a survey covering 6 HR domains comprising 20 topics including people strategy, work environment, talent acquisition, learning, well-being and diversity and inclusion.

  • In 2020, Novartis in Slovenia hired 649 full-time associates. The company ended the year with more than 4,890 full-time associates, of which more than 550 hold a master’s degree or doctorate in science.
  • They carried out the annual top scientific event BioCamp that received the award for the best HR practice  2020 award – honorable mention, and the innovative Novartis Career  Breakfast staffing initiative at the International Conference on the Development of Organizational Sciences.
  • When the epidemic broke out, work processes and measures to prevent the spread of infections were adjusted to protect employees who go to work in production and the laboratories, and work from home was introduced for other employees. Special attention was paid to the psychophysical well-being of the employees, as well as to working parents, in the form of adjustment of schedules, childcare and the granting of additional days of paid absence.
  • In accordance with Novartis strategy in the field of diversity and inclusion, which provides all employees dignity and respect and equal opportunities for success, Novartis in Slovenia marked the month of pride by raising the rainbow flag at all its sites and educated employees about LGBTI+  topics. Diversity and inclusion are two of the many values and ethical principles that guide Novartis in its daily work and are enshrined in the Code of Ethics.

The associates of Novartis in Slovenia  successfully completed the set projects in development:

  • In the Development Center Slovenia, where half of all Sandoz development projects are carried out, they completed the development and filed 22 dossiers for medicines in the therapeutic areas of blood pressure control, anticoagulation, anemia, oncology and diabetes as well as anti-inflammatory and antiviral medicines, medicines for the treatment of lung fibrosis and treatment of stomach diseases. Sandoz successfully launched a number of products developed in the Development Center Slovenia, including blood pressure control products, a probiotic, a medicine for the treatment of fungal infections, a medicine for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and a medicine for the treatment of stomach diseases in the USA.
  • Drug Substance Bioproduction Mengeš, where a large number of development projects are carried out, strengthened the development of innovative biological and biosimilar medicines and reinforced its role as Novartis Development Center for the development of biological and biosimilar medicines with the support of state-of-the-art laboratories and consolidating its activities in innovation, data science, digitalization and automation.

Novartis continued to invest in strengthening  development and production capacities in Slovenia in the amount of EUR 204 million, which will support the transformation of Novartis in Slovenia from a generic to a more innovative pharmaceutical company.  In 2020, the manufacturing sites in Slovenia manufactured and packaged as many as 27 innovative medicines. Over 17 years, Novartis has invested more than EUR 2.7 billion in the development, modernization and expansion of production capacities in Slovenia.

The priority of Novartis in Slovenia was an uninterrupted supply of  vital medicines for patients in Slovenia and around the world throughout the  past year. As the employees play an indispensable role in the timely and quality supply of generic and innovative medicines, immediate and effective measures to protect their health ensured business continuity and the achievement of all the set goals.

The Global Operations  Center (GOC) in Slovenia, which celebrated its first birthday in September, contributed significantly to the smooth production of medicines as well. They established a new operational model that allows Novartis manufacturing sites to focus on their core business: making medicines. They set up a digitally supported centralized Logistics Hub in Slovenia for all starting materials and a Quality Service Center Slovenia where activities are centralized to provide efficient and standardized quality support within production sites. This type of business model is a novelty not only in Novartis, but also in the pharmaceutical industry.

With  all its divisions, Novartis in Slovenia maintained its leading position on the  Slovenian pharmaceutical market with a 13.9% market share.

  • Lek is the second largest company in the generic pharmaceutical market with a 29.3% market share. It remains the second largest provider of prescription medicines and the leading provider of over-the-counter products.
  • In 2020, they launched the eighth biosimilar medicine (Erelzi) and thus remained the leading provider of biosimilars in Slovenia.
  • They successfully launched two new over-the-counter medicines, Exolorfin for the treatment of fungal infections of the nails and Lekofusin, an innovative medicine for pain relief.
  • Novartis Pharma achieved a 9% sales growth compared to the previous year, based mainly on key drugs from the therapeutic areas cardiology, ophthalmology and neurology. They successfully launched Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraine and presented the importance of Mayzent for adult patients with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis   to the professional public.
  • Novartis Oncology enabled 30 Slovenian patients free access to state-of-the-art therapies as part of its compassionate use programs. Furthermore, the first two patients in Slovenia were treated with Novartis’ breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy (Kymriah) for severe forms of blood cancer.
  • Sandoz d. d. reaches patients in more than 80 countries around the world and improves the availability of medicines. During the pandemic, they helped many countries with donations, including medicines, while continuing business without interruptions. With an exceptional response of the company at the global level, as many as 26 donations were made in 24 countries. During the humanitarian crisis in Beirut last year, they donated much-needed generic medicines to hospitals and outpatient clinics. Furthermore, Sandoz leads the activities for a Novartis global portfolio of 15 drug molecules – i.e. classic molecules for the treatment of other symptoms of Covid-19 – for which Novartis has decided to provide countries with low and middle income at non-profit prices. In all markets, especially in Africa and the Middle East, they were successful with their bids in public tender processes.

An  important part of Novartis in Slovenia is also community support, care for the  environment and collaborating with educational institutions:

  • At the beginning of the pandemic, Novartis donated to Slovenia USD 500,000 from the  global fund to help combat the epidemic. The funds were donated to the Red Cross of Slovenia and the Slovenian Association of Friends of the Youth.
  • By donating computers with all the necessary software to families in Lendava, Ljubljana, Domžale and Prevalje, Novartis in Slovenia also helped children from socially weaker families.
  • On their own initiative, the associates of Novartis in Slovenia organized the production of a disinfectant, which was intended for 106 healthcare centers, hospitals, homes for the elderly and local communities across Slovenia.
  • Novartis in Slovenia has partnered with Energetika Ljubljana in the project of  taking over excess heat in which Energetika Ljubljana receives excess heat in the form of steam condensate, which Lek can no longer use in its processes and feeds it into the district heating system.
  • All Novartis sites in Slovenia implemented the Novartis strategy for environmentally  responsible business with its ambitious goals, set to be reached by 2025 and 2030, and continued to share good environmental practices. In an effort to achieve climate neutrality, circular economy, plastic neutrality and sustainable water use, new environmentally responsible solutions have been sought and introduced, particularly in the field of resource utilization efficiency. This also involved raising awareness among external suppliers and monitoring their behavior, especially with regard to occupational safety, where they also implemented continuous improvements according to the established management system in the field of occupational health and safety according to the ISO 45001: 2018 standard. They consistently supervised and carried out business in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 14001: 2015 standard, the POR initiative and Regulation EC122/2009 with amendments (EMAS Environmental Management System), to which they are voluntarily committed as one of the first companies in Slovenia. In the Sustainability Report, prepared in line with GRI GS standard and in relation to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, they publically and comprehensively disclosed the environmental and social impacts of their activities for the tenth time.
  • They organized a day for  researchers at Novartis in Slovenia where the associates of Novartis in Slovenia presented numerous experiences of collaboration with academia.

In 2020, Novartis scientists in Slovenia again  received numerous awards and recognitions:

  • They were among the recipients of  Novartis awards for outstanding achievements in research and development (R & D Awards). The individual Leading Scientist Award was presented to Biljana Janković, PhD, Head of the IVIVC Team from the Development Center Slovenia, and Drago Kuzman, PhD, Head of Development Process Innovations at Biologics Development Mengeš. The team Leading Scientist Award was presented to Rok Grahek, PhD, Andrej Kocijan, PhD, and Nejc Golob MSc, from the Analytical Research Department at Development Center Slovenia.
  • Scientists from the Development Center Slovenia and Biologics Technical Development Mengeš received as many as 17 Sandoz awards for research and development. With the Scientific Excellence Award, Sandoz annually recognizes the best scientists with years of outstanding achievements in research and development. In 2020, the winners of both awards were once again from Slovenia: Dejan Krajcar from Development Center Slovenia and Matjaž Brinc from Biologics Technical Development Mengeš.
  • Nina Lah, doctor of chemistry and head of the laboratory for particle analysis at Lek, was among nominees for  the title Female Engineer 2019. Ognen Jakasanovski, a researcher at the Development Center Slovenia, was one of the five super finalists of the 10th generation of AmCham Young Professionals.

The recipient of awards and  recognitions was also Lek, which is part of Novartis:

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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 nine years, the company has created more than 3,350 new job opportunities, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.7 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 2020 sales of USD 9.6 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 nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 110,000 people of more than 140 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