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Merck & Co., Inc. Response to Today's New York Medicaid Suit
Date:9/17/2007

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck & Co., Inc. today said that it has not yet received a complaint reportedly filed by New York State and New York City seeking Medicaid reimbursement costs. The Company intends to defend against the suit as it has defended against the Medicaid- related suits filed more than a year ago by a handful of other states.

Merck carefully studied VIOXX(R) before and after receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, and consistently made the results of those studies available to the FDA and the medical and scientific communities. Merck acted responsibly from researching VIOXX prior to approval in clinical trials -- to monitoring the medicine while it was on the market -- to voluntarily withdrawing the medicine when it did. In fact, the Company acted within a week after one of its own studies suggested, for the first time, an increased relative risk with VIOXX compared to placebo which became apparent after about 18 months of continuous use.

The fact is that VIOXX worked for patients because it was effective at relieving pain with fewer gastrointestinal effects than other medicines in its class. Additionally, heart attacks and the injuries alleged in the suit were common before VIOXX was ever on the market and they remain common today. The medicine was labeled appropriately under the direction of the FDA according to the evolving science available at the time it was on the market.

Before today, Merck was facing six actions filed more than a year ago by the Attorneys General of the states of Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Texas and Utah. All of the Attorney General suits seek to recover the Medicaid funds the states spent on the medicine. The Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Utah cases are in the federal multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding in New Orleans. The Texas proceeding is pending in Texas state court in Austin, Texas.

Status of Litigation

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SOURCE Merck & Co., Inc.
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