NovartisNovartis has committed to providing the equivalent of over USD 3 million in immediate relief aid to the victims of the recent earthquake in Japan. The support includes both direct financial aid to relief agencies as well as donations of essential medicines, including pain relieving drugs.

"It is still difficult to fully comprehend the human impact of the recent natural disaster in Japan as well as the continued uncertainty hanging over the citizens and residents of that country," said Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman of Novartis. "We are committed to provide humanitarian relief to those affected. We are also working closely with our team in Japan to maintain the continuity of our business operations, to ensure that physicians and patients continue receiving the medicines they need."

Novartis employees worldwide are encouraged to make cash contributions to nationally recognized relief organizations in support of the victims of the earthquake. These donations will then be matched by the company.

The company will also work with relief organizations as well as the Japanese authorities to identify where assistance can be provided on a longer-term basis to ensure that there is sustainable support for people impacted by this tragic natural disaster.

About Novartis
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 2010, the Group's continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 50.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.1 billion (USD 8.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates (including 16,700 Alcon associates) and operate in more than 140 countries around the world.