Lek, a Sandoz company, has dedicated this year's annual charity campaign to all children's wards in general hospitals throughout Slovenia – The campaign was launched at the children's ward of the Murska Sobota General Hospital

Colorful pajamas for young hospital patients

18. 3. 2008

Today at the children’s ward of the Murska Sobota General Hospital, Lek, a Sandoz company, launched its annual charity campaign, through which it will donate pajamas to all children’s wards at general hospitals throughout Slovenia. Through the campaign they want to help the hospitals by making it possible for them to allocate the funds which they earmark for purchasing pajamas every year to purchase other urgently needed equipment or to improve their work conditions. The campaign includes 11 children’s wards in general hospitals, the Pediatric Hospital in Ljubljana and the Children’s Surgery Ward at the Ljubljana Clinical Center.

In preparing for the charity campaign, Lek called representatives of children’s wards and presented the proposal to them. Since the idea was received enthusiastically at all of the Slovene hospitals, they collected information from the individual hospitals on the number of pairs of pajamas needed and then put the plan into action. In March and April all of the hospitals included in the campaign will receive packages of pajamas for different aged children, from newborns to 18 years of age. “At Lek we have been carrying out annual charity campaigns for several years, through which we try to help children who have to visit the doctor or stay in hospitals due to illness, and children who for various reasons live in custodial institutions. This year together with the hospitals we came up with the idea of donating lively colored children’s pajamas with nice animal patterns, since we believe that the colorful pajamas will amuse the children and give them energy which they need during treatment and recuperation,” adds Katja Razinger, Head Marketing and Sales Slovenia at Lek.

“We are glad that Lek launched its annual charity campaign for Slovene hospitals in Murska Sobota. The pajamas are an excellent donation for our hospital. The bright colors will definitely make the children happy and somewhat liven up the days they spend here. It also means a significantly lower cost burden for the hospital. We treat approximately 2000 children a year from all over the entire region at the children’s ward, so we have to allocate quite a bit of money to purchase pajamas,” said Vojko Berce, MD, representative of the children’s ward at the Murska Sobota hospital.

Lek’s annual charity campaign already a tradition

Lek began donating gifts for children just before New Year’s eight years ago, and in the past few years the campaigns have extended into the New Year. In 2000 they donated gifts to more than 1100 children at 14 healthcare or custodial institutions and wished them all the best in the coming year with a puppet presentation of Thumbelina. A similar campaign was instituted in 2001. In 2003 they delighted children in Slovene healthcare and custodial institutions with a clown show by the Red Noses, and donated funds so that the institutions could purchase equipment. In 2004 they donated over 1000 personal computers to numerous elementary and secondary schools, healthcare institutions and organizations which contribute to improving the quality of life of children, and to local associations all over Slovenia. In 2005 they held creativity workshops for children in Slovene hospitals, donated full-year subscriptions to Petka magazine for 2006 and helped equip children’s corners in the hospitals. This campaign was very well received, so in 2007 Lek once again donated full-year subscriptions to Petka magazine, thus allowing all hospitalized children to receive their own copy. In 2007 the annual charity campaign was dedicated to all public healthcare centers in Slovenia. They sent special gift packages to pediatricians and pediatric wards, which made it possible for them to brighten up their waiting rooms and offices or to give the children small gifts after their examinations. The charity campaign included a total of nearly 100 healthcare centers and branches throughout Slovenia.

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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 biosimilars and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz global markets. Lek d.d. employs more than 3,000 people. 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 950 compounds and sells its products in more than 130 countries. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these medicines along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (US) In 2007, Sandoz employed around 23,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 7.2 billion.

Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on growth areas in healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2007, the Group’s continuing operations (excluding divestments in 2007) achieved net sales of USD 38.1 billion and net income of USD 6.5 billion. Approximately USD 6.4 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 98,200 full-time associates 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