35 successful years of Prevalje site

  • Over the past 35 years, the Prevalje site has developed into a key part of a global pharmaceutical company and remained a major employer in the region with more than 200 employees.
  • The Prevalje site manufactures one of the best-selling Sandoz products, which is exported to more than 60 countries, including the USA – the largest global pharmaceutical market.
  • On the occasion of the 35th anniversary the site has strengthened ties with the local community by organising an Open Doors Day and supporting the Prevalje Volleyball Club and Carinthia Fire Service.
23. 5. 2013

Today, Lek, a Sandoz company, marked with a ceremony 35 years of operation at its Prevalje site. In 1978, a small plant for the production of penicillin products started operating, which has grown over these past 35 years, eventually developing into an important part of Sandoz, one of the leading global generic pharmaceutical companies, and retained its role of an important employer in the region with currently more than 200 employees.

»35 years ago it was probably difficult to imagine that our Prevalje site will one day become such an important part of the second largest global generic pharmaceutical company. Today, our Prevalje products are exported to more than 60 countries worldwide, including the world’s largest pharmaceutical market – the USA. With our performance across all our Slovenian sites we continuously prove that we are one of the key parts of Sandoz, Novartis’ generic division and that we are innovative and reliable. Our outstanding work in research, development, production and services is proven mainly by the continuous flow of projects and investments entrusted to us. Over the past ten years, Novartis has invested more than 1.3 billion EUR in Slovenia. That they are an important part of a global pharmaceutical company is repeatedly confirmed also by the excellent performance of the Prevalje associates« pointed out Vojmir Urlep, President of Board of Management of Lek, a Sandoz company.

The ceremony was also attended by Dr Matija Tasič, the mayor of the Prevalje municipality, who underlined the important role of Lek, a Sandoz company, for Prevalje and the region: »Today, around 200 Carinthians earn their living at Lek, a Sandoz company, in Prevalje. We are pleased to see that Lek is one of those rare companies remaining which possesses a solid foundation of quality, knowledge and development as well as job opportunities for Carinthians from the wider region. I would like to emphasize the importance of such a »bright and stimulating company« in these critical times when there is little economic drive, especially here in Carinthia or in Prevalje. When we suffer from severe unemployment and other disincentives, Lek, a Sandoz company, with its competent management and development has shown that it is possible to survive in times of crisis. As a mayor I am very pleased that Lek, a Sandoz company, is closely integrated in the local environment, to help the local community and is committed to social responsibility.«

Once 43, today 200 employees

The beginnings of the pharmaceutical and dental production at Prevalje date back to 1976, when a complementary program to the existing production was started as a part of the local Otiški Vrh Textile Industry Plant. With this, in particular, they wanted to fill the gap in the area of employment for women, which at the time represented one of the major political and economic problems in the region.

»When in 1978 just over 40 associates started production of penicillin products at Prevalje as a part of Lek Pharmaceuticals, this was the first and the only production plant from the former Eastern Europe with a separate penicillin production. From the initial manual preparation of granulate, manual filling and manual packaging of capsules and oral suspensions, we have evolved into a modern pharmaceutical production plant and today we produce at Prevalje one of the best-selling Sandoz’ products« said Bojan Dolenc, site Head at Prevalje.

An important milestone in the development of production in Prevalje was the year 1998, when a new modern plant for the production of today’s one of the best-selling products at Sandoz was launched, a wide-spectrum antibiotic, which is a combination of amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate. The production volumes of this most successful product from the Prevalje site have been continuously growing – from the beginning of production in 1988, when a few kilograms of raw materials were used per year, until today when annually several dozen tons of raw materials are used.

Day of open doors for the local community on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of operation

»Being a part of Sandoz we are aware of the importance of cooperation with the local community. Therefore, to mark the 35th anniversary of operation, we are also preparing an Open Doors Day for the local population in order to present our work, our successes and plans for the future,« said Bojan Dolenc. Throughout the past 35 years, the company has been supporting, through sponsorships and donations, many organisations and individuals in the local environment, operating in the field of humanitarian aid operations, health care, education, learning and culture. On the occasion of the 35th anniversary, a total of 21,000 Euros were dedicated to support Prevalje Voleyball Club as well as the Carinthian Fire Service.

Among the key priorities of Lek, a Sandoz member, is also a continuous lowering of the environmental burden and protection of the environment. The Prevalje site uses raw materials which are not harmful to the environment or people. Under the EU directive its operations are therefore classified as insignificant source of ecological risk. They follow the strict guidelines of Novartis and Sandoz and comply with the requirements of the health, safety and environmental legislation.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading 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 http://www.lek.si/eng/.

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the rapidly growing generics industry. Sandoz offers a broad range of about 1, 100 high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. With nearly 26,000 employees in approximately 140 countries, Sandoz holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars, injectables, ophthalmics and dermatology as well as a strong global #5 position in inhalables. 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), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US). In 2012, Sandoz posted sales of USD 8.7 billion. For more information, please visit www.sandoz.com.

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 128,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit 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 additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32