Lek donates rescue training dummy to the Prevalje Station of the Mountain Rescue Service

16. 3. 2007

Prevalje, March 16 – On behalf of Lek, a Sandoz company, Zlatko Ajd, the Head of the Lek Manufacturing Plant in Prevalje, donated a rescue training dummy to Franc Telcer, the Head of the Prevalje Station of the Mountain Rescue Service (MRS). Lek thus contributed to upgrading the equipment of the mountain rescue service in Koroška, which is crucial to their acquiring and consolidating skills in the rescue techniques that the members of the MRS have to master, in accordance with the principles of the organization, in order to provide assistance to mountaineers.

The training dummy will help the mountain rescue service to practice and teach basic lifesaving procedures. It is designed to provide simulated realistic conditions for training lifesaving techniques, as it also measures the success and correctness of the lifesaving procedures. By donating the training dummy to the MRS Prevalje Station, Lek has again shown its support for the Koroška Mountain Rescue Service and their dedicated humanitarian efforts. A few years ago Lek donated rescue snowmobiles which greatly assist the rescuers in their work.

In the presence of representatives of the MRS Prevalje Station and representatives of Lek, Zlatko Ajd, Head of the Lek Manufacturing Plant in Prevalje, stated: “At Lek we are aware of the exceptional importance of the work of the mountain rescue service. Therefore it is a great honor to be able to contribute to improving the equipment of our rescuers in Prevalje and make their work easier. The MRS Prevalje Station and Lek have something in common: last year we both celebrated our 60th anniversaries, and in those decades we both contributed a great deal to Slovene society, and in doing so we managed to work together. I hope that this cooperation will continue in the future and that through our combined efforts we will contribute to a better quality of life in the local community.”

The MRS Prevalje Station, which covers all of the Koroška region, celebrated its 60th anniversary last year. It has 32 members: handlers of avalanche rescue dogs, air rescue personnel, instructors and trainees. Last year they conducted eight rescue missions in the mountains of Koroška, and on average they conduct between 10 and 15 per year. In the last few years they have noticed that the people who go into the mountains are much better informed and that their equipment is much better suited to the mountain environment. The preventative work of the mountain rescue teams undoubtedly contributes to this increased awareness among mountaineers.

Upon receiving the training dummy, Franc Telcer, Head of the MRS Prevalje Station, said: “Our work is based on the willingness of our members to sacrifice themselves. The support of sponsors is critical to our ability to perform high-quality work, since it is difficult for us to raise sufficient funding for all of the equipment we need, and therefore we thank Lek for their help. We have enjoyed close cooperation with Lek for many years, and this donation of a training dummy further reinforces that cooperation. We believe that with this new equipment our work will be of even higher quality and that visitors to the mountains of Koroška can continue to count on our fast and professional response.”

Through sponsorship of the MRS Prevalje Station, Lek confirms its traditional role of investing in the environment in which it operates. As a company which is closely connected with Slovene society, Lek is present in various areas: healthcare, charity, culture, R&D, sports and education. Above all it endeavors to assist young people and children, and to this end it pays special attention to and earmarks funding for projects which call attention to the pitfalls of the modern world and encourage healthy lifestyles. Through such activities Lek continues to demonstrate its concern for health and a better quality of life, which has been a component part of its mission for over 60 years and will remain so in the future.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. It operates as a global development center for products and technologies, as a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, as a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products, as a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biopharmaceutical products and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz’s global markets. Lek d.d. employs about 2,820 people and achieved total sales of USD 904 million in 2006. For further information please consult http://www.lek.si

Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 840 active substances in over 5 000 forms worldwide. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these drugs along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to the strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (U.S.) and sells its products in more than 110 countries. In 2006, Sandoz employed around 21,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 6 billion.

Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS) is a world leader in offering medicines to protect health, cure disease and improve well-being. Our goal is to discover, develop and successfully market innovative products to treat patients, ease suffering and enhance the quality of life. Novartis is the only company with leadership positions in both patented and generic pharmaceuticals. We are strengthening our medicine-based portfolio, which is focused on strategic growth platforms in innovation-driven pharmaceuticals, high-quality and low-cost generics and leading self-medication OTC brands. In 2006, the Group’s businesses achieved net sales of USD 37.0 billion and net income of USD 7.2 billion. Approximately USD 5.4 billion was invested in R&D. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 101,000 people and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

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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.

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