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Merck & Co., Inc. Response to Today's New York Medicaid Suit

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

In personal injury trials related to VIOXX, juries have decided in favor of Merck 10 times and in plaintiffs' favor five times. There have been two mistrials and a federal judge recently set aside one of Merck's 10 verdicts.

For information regarding additional cases scheduled for trial in 2007 visit

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.

Media Contact: Kent Jarrell Investor Contact: Graeme Bell

(202) 230-1833 (908) 423-5185

SOURCE Merck & Co., Inc.
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