Lek amongst Slovenian leaders in employment and investment in R&D

  • Lek hired 358 new employees in 2016, increasing the number of employees by 7%.
  • They invested 11.2% (EUR 100.3 million) of sales revenue for research and development, making them one of the leading companies in Slovenia.
  • EUR 5.2 million was invested in environmental protection, the most that has been invested in the last six years. They decreased the amount of hazardous waste by 17%, the emissions of volatile organic matter fell by 11%, and water use by 5%, as reported in their newly published sustainability report for 2016.
  • They carried out more than 3,000 safety walkthroughs to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
30. 8. 2017

Lek maintained their high dynamic regarding investments. Novartis earmarked almost EUR 170 million for Slovenia, bringing the total to EUR 1.9 billion over the last 14 years. This investment allowed Lek to enter new strategic fields; in Mengeš they opened the first facility for the production of active ingredients for innovative medicine. The opening of the specialised laboratory meant Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš could also begin developing final biopharmaceutical products. 

“New investments, and the research and development projects we have received also mean job creation, particularly those with high added value,” highlighted the new President of the Board of Management at Lek Zvone Bogdanovski, who added: “High quality personnel and responsible management of our economic, social, and environmental impact remain at the forefront of our operations. We are satisfied that we are able to employ at all sites, and that 46% of our employees have at least higher education.” This is also why a quarter of all Sandoz development projects are within Lek. Over the past year, they filed four new patent applications, and dossiers for 17 new key products for the most demanding global markets. 

They hired 358 new employees, and concluded 2016 with 3,599 full-time employees. Amongst 46% of employees with at least higher education, more than 470 have masters and doctors of science. Thanks to their systematic investment in personnel development and education, they received the Most Reputable Employer Award 2016, and for the 14th time received the TOP 10 Education Management Award.

This is just some of the information from Sustainability Report 2016 – Lek d.d., which was just published. The report comprehensively and systematically monitors progress, and notes the opportunities in the economic, social, and environmental fields of Lek’s operations.

The amount of EUR 5.2 million was invested in environmental protection projects, making it the highest in the last six years. Amongst the most important were the regenerative thermal oxidation device (RTO), and the investment in complete closed handling of intermediary products in the potassium clavulnate production in accordance with REACH-SCC in Lendava. “Progressive, and most often high technological solutions for environmental protection are a constant at Lek, and are built into every investment,” emphasised Mojca Bernik, Sustainability Reporting Manager and Environment Safety Authority. 

In 2016, Lek once again improved several environmental indicators. Amongst others, they decreased the total level of emissions of volatile organic matter by 11%, hazardous waste by 17%, and water use by 5%. In comparison to 2010, the level of greenhouse gases fell by 34%. New measures for energy efficiency meant that they saved 8.21 TJ, however, due to a higher amount of more demanding products, the total energy use rose by 4%. 

Management, HSE expert units, and promotors of safety carried out 3,173 safety walkthroughs to assure health and safety, during which they alerted their co-workers of circumstances that could cause injury or health disorders. They improved the LTIR indicator (by 58%) and the TRCR (by 28%), which show the frequency of work-related accidents and illnesses resulting in the use of sick leave.

Lek once again successfully passed several national and international environment and health inspections. They renewed their environmental management system certificates: ISO 14001:2004, EMAS Scheme, Responsible Care Initiative for the Chemical Industry (RCI), and the System for Occupational Safety and Health Standards OHSAS 18001. They were amongst the first in Slovenia to successfully defend the newest version of environmental standards ISO 14001:2015.

Novartis, in accordance with its policy of integrity, publicly published data for the past year on payments to doctors or health organisations for the second consecutive year. They were the first in Slovenia, prior to being legally obliged to do so, to publish information on all payments, both in innovative and generic fields. 

 A significant part of Lek’s socially responsible approach is the volunteer work of employees. In 12 years of Novartis’ Community Partnership Day initiative, more than 3,900 employees have helped more than 60 different organisations and more than 12,000 people. Lek’s partnership with the community is further strengthened by their Open Day, which took place in Mengeš at the beginning of the year. They had around 600 local residents who came to visit, who asked more than 200 questions, mostly regarding employment opportunities, the fields of health, safety, and the environment, as well as technological solutions. 

* * *

Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading global development center for technologically demanding products and technologies; a key 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 active ingredients and products; a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and is responsible for marketing and sales of Sandoz products on the Slovenian market. For further information, please visit www.lek.si.

Sandoz is a global leader in generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals. As a division of the Novartis Group, our purpose is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. We contribute to society’s ability to support growing healthcare needs by pioneering novel approaches to help people around the world access high-quality medicine. Our portfolio of approximately 1000 molecules, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2016 sales of USD 10.1 billion. In 2016, our products reached more than 500 million patients and we aspire to reach one billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.
Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global (link is external).

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, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

* * *

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.

- end -

For additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications 
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32