Next generation topical pain reliever Voltaren Emulgel(TM) now available in Canada without a prescription



    
    -   First non-prescription topical pain reliever with the trusted, proven
        ingredient diclofenac

    -   Voltaren Emulgel(TM), the number one topical pain reliever worldwide,
        quickly penetrates the skin and delivers medicine to the painful
        inflamed areas where relief is needed

    -   With reduced muscle and joint pain, Canadians can rediscover the joy
        of movement
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Approximately 19 million Canadians suffer from
pain on a weekly basis(1) and two thirds of them experience back, muscle or
joint pain. For these people, relief is now available from the clinically
proven, pain-relieving power of new non-prescription Voltaren Emulgel(TM).
Voltaren Emulgel(TM) (diclofenac diethylamine 1.16%) is the first and only
nonprescription topical pain reliever containing the medicinal ingredient
diclofenac. It penetrates deep beneath the surface of the skin to effectively
relieve acute back, muscle and joint pain at the site. Voltaren Emulgel(TM) is
clinically proven to deliver targeted relief of pain associated with acute
back, muscle and joint injuries, such as sprains, strains and sports injuries.
    Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication that
has a long history of providing effective pain relief in prescription products
in Canada. The pain-relieving action of diclofenac in Voltaren Emulgel(TM)
results in reduced pain of the injured muscle or joint, allowing Canadians to
rediscover their joy of movement in their everyday activities.
    The number one topical pain reliever in the world, Voltaren Emulgel(TM)
has been proven safe and effective in a number of clinical studies. Voltaren
Emulgel(TM) does not act by heating or cooling the surface of the skin. It
penetrates deeply through the skin to help deliver the active ingredient into
the underlying tissues and joints for relief of acute muscle and joint
pain(2).

    Canadians miss out due to pain

    Research shows that 57 per cent of Canadians experience pain every week,
and two thirds of these sufferers have pain in their back, neck, shoulder or
joints on a weekly basis. In fact, weekly back, neck, shoulder and joint pain
is more common than the average headache(1).
    "Joint and muscle pain is so common. Even when people are suffering, they
still have to work, take care of their families and homes, and go about their
day, but they don't get much joy out of it," said Dr. Susan Biali, MD. "As a
wellness expert, life coach and physician, I see many Canadians who don't get
the most that they could out of their days because of their pain. And as a
professional flamenco dancer, I know first hand the frustration of not being
able to enjoy the things I love to the fullest when I'm in pain."
    Voltaren Emulgel(TM) features a unique, non-greasy formula with a mild
scent that disappears fast as the gel is quickly absorbed and delivers
targeted pain relief where it's needed most. So gardeners, dancers, golfers,
athletes, and everyone in between who experience aches and pains due to
injuries such as sprains or strains can safely and effectively relieve their
pain and get back to enjoying their day.
    "Stretching, massages, and rest help to relax muscles and joints and
reduce pain, but in some cases medical treatment can be the most effective way
to relieve pain. A scientifically proven pain reliever, particularly a
non-prescription medication with an excellent safety profile, can provide
significant relief of acute muscle and joint pain, so people can enjoy their
everyday activities again." Dr. Biali continued.
    Voltaren Emulgel(TM) has provided effective relieving power for more than
20 years and in more than 200 million patient uses worldwide. Available
non-prescription in more than 35 countries, Voltaren Emulgel(TM) is now
available on pharmacy shelves across Canada (behind the pharmacy counter in
Quebec) in 50g and 100g tubes. Voltaren Emulgel(TM) is currently available by
prescription in British Columbia, and will be available over-the-counter soon,
pending a standard review.
    For more information on Voltaren Emulgel, please visit www.voltaren.com.

    Disclaimer

    The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be
identified by terminology such as "will," "often leads to," "may be," "can
be," or similar expressions, or by express or implied discussions regarding
potential future revenues from Voltaren Emulgel. Such forward-looking
statements reflect the current views of the Company regarding future events,
and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may
cause actual results to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. There can
be no guarantee that Voltaren Emulgel will achieve any particular levels of
revenue in the future. In particular, management's expectations regarding
commercialization of Voltaren Emulgel could be affected by, among other
things, unexpected clinical trial results, including unexpected new clinical
data and unexpected additional analysis of existing clinical data, competition
in general, increased government, industry and general public pricing
pressures, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation
generally, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG's current
Form 20-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one
or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying
assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those
anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Novartis is providing the
information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any
obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press
release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

    About Novartis

    Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs
of patients and societies. Focused solely on growth areas in healthcare,
Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative
medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and
diagnostic tools, and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company
with leading positions in these areas. In 2007, the Group's continuing
operations (excluding divestments in 2007) achieved net sales of
USD 38.1 billion and net income of USD 6.5 billion. Approximately USD 6.4
billion was invested in R&D activities throughout the Group. Headquartered in
Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 98,200
full-time associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For
more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

    
    References
    1   MISI International OMNIBUS - Canada November, 2006
    2   Novartis Consumer Health - Voltaren Emulgel(TM) Product Monograph
        2007
    





For further information:

For further information: Novartis Media Relations: Julie Masow, Novartis
Consumer Health, Inc., Communications, (973) 503-7663 (direct), (862) 579-8456
(mobile), julie.masow@novartis.com; Silvie Letendre, Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Canada Communications, (514) 633-7872 (direct), (514) 449 7872 (mobile),
silvie.letendre@novartis.com, e-mail: media.relations@novartis.com; Cohn &
Wolfe: Lorena Cordoba, Cohn & Wolfe, (416) 924-5700 ext. 4089,
lorena.cordoba@cohnwolfe.ca; Alexis Beamer, Cohn & Wolfe, (416) 924-5700 ext.
4031, alexis.beamer@cohnwolfe.ca; Mélissa Maloul-Cohen, Cohn & Wolfe, (514)
845-2257, melissa.maloul@cohnwolfe.ca

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NOVARTIS CONSUMER HEALTH, INC.

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