Lek received the TOP 10 – 2007 award for investing in education of employees

20. 11. 2007

The recipients of this year’s TOP 10 – 2007 awards were announced at the Education Management Conference that was organized by the company Planet GV at Bled. The Education Management Institute Sofos chose ten Slovenian companies and organizations that systematically invest in knowledge and promote training and education of employees. One of the companies that received the award was also Lek.

Together with the results of the invitation for proposals that was renewed this year, a comparative analysis of the progress in comparison with the previous years was presented at the conference. On average, the companies have increased their budgets for education in relation to their total revenues (1.61% this year compared with 0.97% last year). The average number of hours of education per employee has increased too and is the highest ever. On average, each employee took part in approx. 57.84 hours of education in 2006. The share of the education budget in relation to total labour costs was 5.749% on average and the average annual investment in continuing education and training per employee amounted to EUR 1,982.28.

In addition to Lek, the TOP 10 – 2007 award was conferred to Ernst & Young d.o.o., Gorenje, d.d., Helios TBLUS Količevo d.o.o., Infotehna d.o.o., Krka, d.d., Novo mesto, the Sava Group, the coal mine Premogovnik Velenje d.d., Smart Com d.o.o. and Trimo d.d.

The TOP 10 – 2007 award is additional recognition of Lek’s efforts and planned investing in training and education of employees. In the year 2006 Lek allocated more than EUR 3.5 million to education.

Lek has an established scholarship policy. We are trying to systematically develop the knowledge and skills of employees to ensure their long-term employability.

Lek is a company which invests a lot in the research and development. A concern for continuous training and education and career advancement of employees is therefore a key to the growth and progress of the company. Our employees participate in various internal and external educational programs in Slovenia; moreover, as part of a global company they also have a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge abroad and to learn through cooperation with top-notch foreign experts in international projects.

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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.

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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