The modern Lendava Packaging Center will supply Sandoz European markets

Sandoz continues investments in Slovenia

  • The Packaging Center features environmentally friendly technology, currently provides 35 jobs.
  • Investment amounted to 13 million euros; Novartis invested more than EUR 750 m in Lek in last six years.
  • Quality and cost efficiency important for the further development of the production site in Lendava.
  • Lek once again opens doors to all employees, their families and local residents for a dialogue with the local community.
24. 9. 2009

Today Lek, a Sandoz company, officially opened the new Lendava Packaging Center, which will supply European markets with pharmaceutical products from Sandoz plants all over the world. The investment in the Packaging center amounted to 13 million euros, and the Center today provides 35 jobs and features environmentally friendly technology. With this investment, Sandoz continues its investments in Slovenia and confirms the value of the Lendava site, which is an important production center for selected active pharmaceutical ingredients for the global markets of Sandoz, one of the world’s leading generic pharmaceutical companies.

Lek was awarded the investment in the Packaging Center despite strong competition from Sandoz locations in other countries.

“Our competitive advantages are flexibility, cost effectiveness, short delivery times and constant efforts to find new ways to package specific products, which demand special conditions and procedures,” said Andrej Drčar, Head of the Lendava Packaging Center, who added that “the efficient transfer of knowledge and experience from production in Ljubljana to the Lendava Packaging Center was very important for the project.”

The investment in Lendava is a continuation of investment activities by Lek’s owner Novartis, which invested more than EUR 750 m in Lek from 2003 through 2008 through its generic division Sandoz, more than half of which was earmarked for investments in development. The Packaging Center, which was officially opened today, confirms Lek’s owner’s intention of continuing investments. Quality and cost efficiency will be the keys to the further development of the production site in Lendava.

“The production of active pharmaceutical ingredients in Lendava is an important part of the global production capacities of active ingredients at Sandoz. The Lendava site is one of the few suppliers of gentamycin for the most demanding pharmaceuticals markets and an important supplier for Sandoz of potassium clavulanate, a key ingredient of a wide-spectrum antibiotic which is one of Sandoz’s leading and best-selling products. The strategic importance of the Lendava site has increased with the opening of the new Packaging Center, so we shall continue our efforts to maintain the quality of our products and increase the efficiency of our production facilities,” said Gizela Štampar, Head of Lek in Lendava.

The new Packaging Center and the entire Lendava site, which employs a total of 200 workers, were toured today as part of the Open House by local residents and family members of employees.

“The Municipality of Lendava salutes investments which represent protecting jobs, are connected with new knowledge and do not burden the environment. In the two decades that Lek’s site has operated in Lendava they have brought their employees social security and become an active part of our lives here, so we are happy that the Lendava site has further consolidated its role within Sandoz,” said the Mayor of the Municipality of Lendava Anton Balažek at the opening of the Packaging Center.

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About our operations in Lendava
Since the beginning of Lek’s operations in Lendava in 1982 we have worked for creative cooperation with the local community of which we are a part. For over 20 years, Lek has provided jobs in this area, where unemployment is a persistent problem. We currently employ around 200 people in Lendava and are one of the most important business entities in this part of Slovenia.

Good cooperation between Lek and the local community is very important, so we constantly try to encourage its development. Our doors are always open to anyone who is interested in our operations. We hold open house days for the local community, host visits from secondary school students for science field trips and preparations for their secondary school leaving exams, we receive visits from students at several colleges, and large numbers of visits from Lendava retirees. We are frequently visited by members of the Municipal Council, with whom we discuss our development plans in Lendava and environmental protection. Today as well we opened our doors to everyone who is interested in our operations.

“We have been active participants in the life of the local community in Lendava for over two decades. Through sponsorship and donations we support activities, organizations and individuals who promote a better quality of life, particularly in the fields of education and culture, but we also support the local sports activities for young. In the last six years we have earmarked more than 140,000 euros for sponsorship and donations in Lendava and the vicinity,” said Mrs. Štampar.

Care for the environment is a component part of production in Lendava
We are aware of our environmental responsibility, so we strive to preserve and protect the natural environment and lower environmental burden by using good business practices and appropriate technologies. When dealing with the environment our fundamental approach is to prevent all forms of pollution. The Lendava Packaging Center also features environmentally-friendly technology, and its operations from the environmental aspect are strictly controlled according to Lek and Novartis standards and in accordance with Slovenian legislation.

The Lendava Wastewater Treatment Plant, which was a joint project between the Municipality of Lendava and Lek, also demonstrates Lek’s attitude towards environmental protection. Through the founding of the company Lendava Wastewater Treatment Plant d.o.o. and the installation of facilities for treating industrial and municipal water, the shared interests of the Municipality of Lendava, i.e. the local population, and Lek in protecting the environment, in which both the company and the municipality operate, are realized.

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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 biosimilar products and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz global markets. For further information please visit

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 approximately 1000 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 Eon Labs (US). In 2008, Sandoz employed around 23,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 7.6 billion. For further information please visit

Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2008, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 41.5 billion and net income of USD 8.2 billion. Approximately USD 7.2 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 99,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 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