WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.–LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs –Just two we…

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J.–LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs –Just two weeks before the first scheduled trial in the Texas state-wide proceedings, a Texas woman has dropped her VIOXX suit against Merck & Co. This is the fourth case set for trial in the Texas state-wide proceedings to be dismissed before trial could even begin.

The case was one of two hand-picked by plaintiffs as the first to be tried in the Texas state-wide proceedings. The other case was dismissed by the court because the plaintiff failed to list his VIOXX claim as an asset when he previously filed for bankruptcy protection. In August, the plaintiffs unilaterally dropped two cases selected by Merck for the trial that was scheduled to begin following this upcoming trial.

“We believe the evidence was strong in this case and Merck was prepared to go forward with the trial,” said Ted Mayer of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Merck’s outside counsel.

In this case, Sharon Rigby alleged that VIOXX caused her heart attack even though she was a smoker with a family history of heart disease and a number of other risk factors, and has a pending claim against another pharmaceutical company alleging heart injuries.

The claims of more than 3,000 plaintiff groups have been dismissed to date. That includes more than 1,100 plaintiff groups whose claims were dismissed with prejudice either by plaintiffs themselves or by the courts. More than 2,000 additional plaintiff groups have had their claims dismissed without prejudice.

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 www.merck.com.

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 cautionary statements in Item 1 of Merck’s Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, and in its periodic reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.

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