Merck to Seek Appellate Review of Class Certification Decision in VIOXX(R) Proceedings in Saskatchewan

    MONTREAL, Feb. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. has learned
that the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench has decided to certify class
proceedings in a lawsuit regarding VIOXX(R). The Company intends to seek
appellate review of the decision because it believes that each plaintiff's
case should be tried separately.
    "Our legal strategy remains the same," said Maurice Laprairie, of
MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman LLP, Saskatchewan counsel for Merck Frosst and
Merck & Co., Inc. "Although we argued against the creation of a class, the
Court's decision still requires that each plaintiff must prove his or her
claims on an individual basis because each plaintiff's case is unique and
depends on an individual set of facts. Heart attacks, for example, are
unfortunately common in the population and caused by many different risk
    "The Company intends to defend these cases vigorously over the coming
years, and we are confident that the courts will decide these cases based on
sound science," said Mary M. Thomson, of Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP,
Canadian national counsel for Merck Frosst and Merck & Co., Inc. "We will
continue to argue that centralized judicial management of individual cases,
not a class action, is the preferable procedure for trying each case in a fair
and expeditious manner."
    Merck acted responsibly - from researching VIOXX prior to approval in
clinical trials involving almost 10,000 patients - to monitoring the medicine
while it was on the market - to voluntarily withdrawing the medicine when we
    On Nov. 9, 2007, Merck & Co., Inc entered into a resolution agreement
concerning individual product liability claims against the Company in the
United States. That agreement does not admit fault or causation and does not
apply to Canada. VIOXX lawsuits outside the United States are in various
stages of the legal process in different countries with different rules and
judicial processes.

    About Merck Frosst Canada Ltd.

    At Merck Frosst, patients come first. Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. is a
research-driven pharmaceutical company. Merck Frosst discovers, develops and
markets a broad range of innovative medicines to improve human health. The
Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research, one of the largest biomedical
research facilities in Canada, has the mandate to discover new therapies for
the treatment of respiratory diseases, inflammatory diseases, diabetes and
osteoporosis. More information about Merck Frosst is available at

    Forward-Looking Statement

    This statement 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.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Evan Zelikovitz, (613)
862-0302; Kent Jarrell, (202) 230-1833; Investor Contact: Graeme Bell, (908)

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