"A WINK TO THE SUN" campaign 2008 – free holidays for every child

The 10th-anniversary "A WINK TO THE SUN" fund-raising campaign comes to its close

13. 6. 2008

“The summer holidays, the favorite time of year for most of us, and in particular, for children, are only a few-days’ time away. Many already know how they will spend them, while others will make this decision at the last moment. However, for at least some of the children who cannot afford a proper holiday due to a lack of financial and material resources there is encouraging news: within the “A Wink to the Sun” humanitarian campaign, we have raised about 61,500 EUR, a sum that will provide 230 children from all over Slovenia with a free 10-day holiday,” said Majda Štruc, secretary of the Friends of Youth Association Slovenia (ZPMS) at the close of this year’s 10th-anniversary campaign.

“With its humanitarian campaign, called “A WINK TO THE SUN – free holidays for every child”, the Association has been, for as long as ten years, encouraging the people of good will to make contributions for holidays of the children who, due to social deprivation, face the risk of staying at home and being uncared for. To date, free holidays have been provided for more than 6000 children from all over the country. On behalf of the children and their parents, we wish to express our sincere thanks to all the donors, while our thanks also go to the media which have enabled cost-free advertising,” said Franc Hočevar, chairman of the ZPMS.

At its very beginning, the “A WINK TO THE SUN” initiative was supported by Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d., a Sandoz company, the general sponsor and partner. Lek thus joined the effort of contributing to a healthy, joyful and pleasant childhood of every child. Over the past five years, it has organized the “SUNSHINE GAMES”, a special day for the children participating in the campaign, where they can show their skills and talents, and have enormous fun. On this occasion, Lek always presents them with special gifts.

“Lek has cooperated with the ZPMS for several years now, and has participated in the campaign since its very start. Being able to see the 10th anniversary of the campaign is therefore an additional reason for our joy. The major source of joy, however, are the results of the campaign: the raised funds will provide free summer holidays for many children, who, if not given this opportunity, would have to stay at home.,” said Marjan Novak, a member of the Lek Management Board, further adding:” The company’s mission is to provide health and a better quality of people’s lives. We firmly believe that, jointly with the ZMPS, we are fulfilling our mission by helping those in greatest need. The happy faces of the children we visit during their holidays keep proving that our efforts are aimed in the right direction. “

According to the Convention on Children’s Rights, every child has the right to spend quality leisure time intended for rest and relaxation, and for improving their health. Holiday arrangements give them the opportunity to further their personal growth, develop their numerous interests and abilities, gain fresh knowledge, develop social skills, make contacts with their peers and improve their health. In the 55 years of its existence, the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia has organized pleasant holidays for children, offering them diverse leisure-time programs, with friendly teachers and healthcare workers making sure that the children feel well during their holidays. The children’s health and well-being improve in an atmosphere of friendship. Every year, approximately 30 thousand children spend holidays with the Friends of Youth Association of Slovenia. Holidays take place in the 14 modern holiday homes owned by the Association in various locations at the seaside and in the mountains.

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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