More beautiful and healthy smiles among Slovene children
Ljubljana, June 7, 2007 – The 24th annual Slovenian national Clean Teeth and Healthy Food campaign was concluded today at a final ceremony in Tivoli hall, organized by the Dental Section of the Slovenian Medical Association together with general sponsor Lek, a Sandoz company, and the company L-Kozmetika, which was founded upon the acquisition of Lek Kozmetika by Ilirija. This year’s campaign included 95 percent (673) of Slovenian elementary schools and 43 groups of kindergartens, of which 35 classes or groups were from schools and institutions for children with special needs. At the final ceremony awards were handed out for the best class and regional winners.
Over 2000 children and their teachers from all over Slovenia who participated in this year’s Clean Teeth and Healthy Food campaign gathered today at Tivoli hall. The final ceremony, held for all of the children who have been taking care of their teeth and nutrition all year and demonstrated it at regular dental checkups, was also attended by the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković, who conferred the award for the best class. The award was won this year by class 3.b from the Prule Elementary School in Ljubljana. Representatives of the Dental Section of the Slovenian Medical Association and representatives of the general sponsor Lek a Sandoz company and L-Kozmetika also handed out awards to all nine regional winners. This year they were: in the Savinje region class 2 from the Podbočje Elementary School, in Southeast Slovenia class 1 from the Dvor pri Žužemberku Elementary School, in the Gorenjska region class 5.b from the Bohinjska Bistrica Elementary School, in the Gorica region class 4.a from the Fran Erjavec Elementary School, in the Koroška region class 8.b from the Mislinja Elementary School, in the Central Slovenia region class 5.a from the Primož Trubar Elementary School, in the Kras region class 4 from the Pregarje Elementary School, in the Prekmurje region class 3.a from Bilingual Elementary School 1 from Lendava and in the Podravje region class 3.a from the Ludvik Pliberšek Elementary School.
After the official part of the ceremony the event organizers threw a party for the children featuring the music group Foxy Teens and the acrobatic troupe Hip Hoopers. The final ceremony is only one of the events which the organizers prepare for the children. Each year all of the children who participate in the competition receive symbolic awards at regional events, which further encourages them to join the competition in the following year.
The initiator of the Clean Teeth and Healthy Food campaign was Tatjana Leskošek Denišlič, who is particularly satisfied this year, since this year almost every school in Slovenia participated. “In 1979 when I tried out the clean teeth competition for the first time at the Ketta Murn Elementary School in Ljubljana, I had no idea that many years later more than 95 percent of Slovenian elementary school would be participating. Only four towns in Slovenia are missing from the campaign,” explained Mrs. Denišlič, who added that in the time of the campaign, which is based on unannounced dental checkups, the average number of affected teeth has fallen from over six to less than two, and the percentage of twelve-year-olds without cavities has risen from just seven to forty. Through this exceptionally effective campaign the Dental Section has each year increased the importance of preventive action for children’s dental hygiene. The success of the campaign has not remained unnoticed even outside Slovenia, and has received international praise and recognition on several occasions.
“At Lek we are proud to have supported such a successful campaign for 20 years. We all know that oral hygiene is an important part of healthcare, and poor care for one’s teeth can cause numerous problems. There is nothing nicer than seeing the satisfied and smiling children. It’s even better if the smiling children are also displaying beautiful, clean and healthy teeth. And what they learn as children will stay will them in their adult lives, so we are sure that with the help of this campaign there will be more and more healthy and beautiful smiles in Slovenia in the future,” said Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški, Head of Corporate Communications at Lek.
Despite the change in ownership of Lek Kozmetika, which is now owned by Ilirija and has been renamed L-Kozmetika, our years of participation in the campaign are continuing. “At L-Kozmetika we know that such campaigns are vital for the development of oral hygiene among children and therefore we are pleased to support it. For the participation of Ilirija and L-Kozmetika as the leading Slovenian suppliers of oral hygiene products, the importance of children’s oral hygiene is also significant for our society. Since children spend a large part of their day in educational institutions, it is important for conscientious dental workers and teachers to care for children’s oral hygiene. In this way the children brush their teeth regularly and become conscious of the importance of caring for their oral hygiene,” said the Director of L-Kozmetika Rok Habjan.
Preventive dental care is essential for maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile. Through the exceptionally effective Clean Teeth and Healthy Food campaign the Dental Section increases the important of preventive action for children’s dental hygiene every year. It is particularly important that within this campaign the children are competing against themselves, since they are constantly learning how to brush their teeth thoroughly and correctly and thus already as children developing a responsible attitude towards their own health.
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.
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
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43
Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32