The Slovenian Clean Teeth and Healthy Nutrition campaign launched for the 25th time this year

3. 6. 2008

This year saw the 25th annual Slovenian nationwide Clean Teeth and Healthy Nutrition campaign organized by the Dental Section of the Slovenian Medical Association in cooperation with Lek, a Sandoz company, as the general sponsor, and the company Ilirija which assumed the sponsorship within the framework of its acquisition of Lek Cosmetics. This year’s campaign involved almost 98 percent (683) of Slovenia’s elementary schools, of which 37 schools and institutions for children with special needs. At the closing ceremony, which will be held on Thursday, 5 June, in the Tivoli Hall in Ljubljana, awards will be presented to the best class and to all the regional winners.

“Three decades ago, Slovenian dentists assessed the status of oral hygiene and tooth decay in children, establishing that it was considerably poor. As a result of these findings, I thought in 1979 of organizing a Clean Teeth Contest, which we first introduced at the Kette Murn elementary school in Ljubljana. Four years later, the professional and organizational leadership of this prevention project, now implemented all over the country, was taken over by the Dental Section of the Slovenian Medical Association. In the school year 1983/1984, 34 elementary schools took part in the contest, and the number has increased to this year’s 683. After the 25 years of the campaign, almost 98 percent of all the Slovenian elementary schools are currently involved,” said Tatjana Leskošek Denišlič, the initiator of the Clean Teeth and Healthy Nutrition campaign, further adding that the average number of decayed teeth per child has risen from six and more to less than two since the campaign based on unannounced checkups of oral hygiene status was first launched. The percentage of 12-year-olds without cavities has risen from seven to forty. Through this extremely effective campaign, the Dental Section has been enhancing the importance of preventive measures aimed at improving children’s dental health. The success of the campaign has even been noticed outside Slovenia, and has been given international praise and recognition on several occasions.

“Lek is extremely proud to have been able to support this successful campaign for as long as a quarter of a century. Every year we follow its results with great joy and anticipation. We are pleased with the fact that the number of participating schools is on an increase and that the children’s awareness of the importance of proper, regular dental hygiene has been improving constantly. The habits learnt in childhood will continue into adulthood, and will be passed on to the next generation. And we all know that good oral hygiene is one of the key factors of a healthy life, and that poor, unhealthy teeth can cause a huge amount of problems and pain, “ said Marjan Novak, Lek Management Board member.

At Ilirija, the awareness of the importance of dental and oral health is also considerably high. Rok Habjan, Ilirija Management Board member, stressed the significance of preventive care. “By regularly using high-quality dental care products, such as the Biodent products, children can avoid unnecessary problems with their teeth and the resulting pain. Parents are paying great attention to the health of their children’s teeth, however, the impact and support from this campaign is more than welcome.”

Closing ceremony in the Tivoli Hall

At the closing ceremony, held on Thursday, 5 June 2008, in the Tivoli Hall in Ljubljana, more than 2000 children, participants of this year’s campaign from all over Slovenia, will gather to receive the awards. This year, the award for the best class will go to a class of 5th grade pupils of the Beltinci elementary school. The representatives of the Dental Section of the Slovenian Medical Association, representatives of the general sponsor, Lek Pharmaceuticals, a Sandoz company, and the company Ilirija will also present awards to the nine regional winners. This year these awards will be given to the following elementary schools: Žužemberk, 16th December Mojstrana, Negova, Livada, Branik, Artiče, Koroški jeklarji, Poljčane and ZUJL-OVI Jarše.

After the official part of the ceremony, the children will be entertained by the Hip Hooper acrobatic troupe and the Kingston band. The closing ceremony is yet another event in the series of events organized for the children. Every year, separate regional ceremonies are held to present symbolic awards to all the children participating in the contest, which provides them with additional motivation to take part in future contests.

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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

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

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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