Sandoz's drug for lowering blood cholesterol, rosuvastatin, has been developed and produced in Slovenia, and is the first generic of its kind on the Slovenian market. Priced 30% lower than the original, Sandoz's rosuvastatin could bring significant savings to the Slovenian healthcare budget.

Lek first in Slovenia to offer generic rosuvastatin for lowering cholesterol

23. 6. 2010

Lek, a Sandoz company, has developed rosuvastatin, a so-called superstatin from the most recent third-generation statins, used for the treatment of high blood cholesterol. Slovenian patients will be among the first to benefit from this new generic medicine. All processes, from development to production of the final product and packaging, are the work of Lek associates.

As the production of rosuvastatin is a demanding and complex process, Lek, a Sandoz company, developed an innovative approach to its tablet production. This has led to a safe and efficient product that will enable Slovenian patients to be treated with the newest generation of statins at an affordable price.

The first generic rosuvastatin

“We are proud, that we are the first in Slovenia and among the first ones in Europe to market a generic rosuvastatin, which is an exceptional accomplishment. This is one of our largest product launches and demonstrates the strength of our internal development capabilities. The medicine has been developed and produced entirely in Slovenia using our innovative technologies at the Sandoz Development Centers in Ljubljana and Mengeš,” said member of the Lek Board of Management Zvonko Bogdanovski.

According to data from the Health Safety Institute published in November 2009, nearly 66 percent of people in Slovenia have elevated lipid levels. If left untreated, fats can build up on artery walls, cause clogged arteries and lead to cardiovascular diseases; the most serious consequences include heart attacks and strokes. In the developed world, including Slovenia, cardiovascular diseases are the cause of nearly 40 percent of all deaths.

There are two types of blood cholesterol – so-called “bad” (LDL) and “good” (HDL) cholesterol. Rosuvastatin, which is part of the most recent third generation of statins, functions by lowering the level of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, blocking its development and improving the body’s ability to eliminate it and raise the level of “good” cholesterol. Rosuvastatin is a so-called superstatin, as it is more effective at lowering blood lipid levels in comparison with other statins.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a global development center for products and technologies; a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines; a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products; a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilar products; and, a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and it is responsible for sales on the Slovenian market. 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), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria) and Oriel Therapeutics (US). In 2009, Sandoz employed around 23,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 7.5 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 2009, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 44.3 billion, while approximately USD 7.5 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 100,000 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