Merck Challenges Verdict in Federal FOSAMAX® (alendronate sodium) Trial

Merck Challenges Verdict in Federal FOSAMAX® (alendronate sodium) Trial 
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., June 25, 2010 - Merck & Co., Inc. today said it is challenging the decision returned by a New York jury in the retrial of a federal FOSAMAX case, Boles v. Merck. This case was the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee's top choice to take to trial and involved a Florida woman who blamed her dental and jaw problems on FOSAMAX. The first case to reach a verdict, Maley v. Merck, resulted in a defense verdict for Merck on May 5, 2010.

"We disagree with the jury's verdict. We believe the jury verdict was a result of plaintiff's counsel's inflammatory and prejudicial remarks," said Paul Strain of Venable LLP, outside counsel for Merck. "The plaintiff was at increased risk for dental and jaw problems even if she was not taking FOSAMAX."

Merck believes the verdict is contrary to the evidence presented at trial and that the award of compensatory damages is unjustified and excessive.

"Both the finding and the amount of the compensatory damages are against the weight of the evidence," said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and general counsel of Merck. "We believe the evidence showed that FOSAMAX did not cause the plaintiff's injury and that it is a safe and effective medication that was properly designed. While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, we remain fully committed to defending these cases."

The plaintiff in this case alleged she used FOSAMAX from 1997 to 2006 and that she suffered various jaw problems and complications following two tooth extractions in June 2002, including a several day hospitalization in 2004 to treat her condition.

During the trial, Merck produced evidence showing that the plaintiff had medical problems that cause people to develop jaw problems, regardless of whether they were taking FOSAMAX. She had significant periodontal disease and a history of smoking up to a pack of cigarettes a day, which can result in poor wound healing.

In addition, Merck presented evidence that it acted responsibly in researching and developing FOSAMAX and in monitoring the medicine since it has been on the market. The company's clinical trials, conducted both before and following approval, have involved more than 28,000 patients, including more than 17,000 treated with FOSAMAX. Merck also presented evidence that it provided appropriate and timely information about FOSAMAX to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities and to consumers.

Merck is represented by Paul Strain and Stephen Marshall of Venable LLP, Baltimore, Md.

Status of Litigation
This is a retrial of Boles v. Merck, a case that resulted in a mistrial in September 2009 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. The first case to reach a verdict, Maley v. Merck, resulted in a defense verdict for Merck on May 5, 2010. As of March 31, 2010, approximately 1,039 cases, which include approximately 1,417 plaintiff groups, had been filed and were pending against Merck in either federal or state court.

About FOSAMAX
FOSAMAX is indicated for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. FOSAMAX should not be used in patients with certain disorders of the esophagus that delay emptying, who are unable to stand or sit upright for at least 30 minutes, who have low levels of calcium in their blood, or in patients who are allergic to FOSAMAX. Some patients may develop severe digestive reactions including irritation, inflammation or ulceration of the esophagus. Patients who experience new or worsening heartburn, difficulty or pain when swallowing or chest pain should stop taking the drug and call their doctor right away. Patients who develop severe bone, joint and/or muscle pain at any time should contact their doctor.

About Merck
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements may include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of the merger between Merck and Schering-Plough, including future financial and operating results, the combined company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Merck's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected synergies from the merger of Merck and Schering-Plough will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; disruption from the merger making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; Merck's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; dependence on the effectiveness of Merck's patents and other protections for innovative products; the risk of new and changing regulation and health policies in the U.S. and internationally and the exposure to litigation and/or regulatory actions.

Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in Merck's 2009 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site ( www.sec.gov).
 


The Prescribing information and Patient Product Information for FOSAMAX® is attached and also available at www.FOSAMAX.com.

FOSAMAX® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A.