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UPJOHN TAKES U.K. GOVERNMENT BODY TO COURT OVER HALCION

 KALAMAZOO, Mich., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Upjohn Company (NYSE: UPJ) announced today that it will take the U.K. Licensing Authority to court following the British government's refusal to return Halcion Tablets to the market and its June 9 revocation of the Halcion license. In announcing the highly unusual step, Upjohn said it had considered the fact that the government twice rejected advice from its own scientific expert panels, which supported return of the popular sleeping medication to the market.
 Ley S. Smith, Upjohn president and chief operating officer, said, "The public deserves to know why the Licensing Authority rejected expert scientific advice given to it under British law. Halcion is an important product with significant advantages. We believe that a wide choice of treatment options, so long as they're scientifically proved to be safe and effective, should be available to physicians and patients."
 Smith referred to the fact that, during the 20-month appeals process which followed the British suspension of Halcion in October 1991, the product received favorable comment from two government-appointed panels, the Medicines Commission in July 1992, and the Appointed Person Panel in April 1993.
 "One would expect," said Smith, "that a responsive regulatory body would heed its own experts, particularly when their advice is so firmly based on scientific evidence. We can only wonder if the Licensing Authority acted precipitously in the first place and may have been unwilling to face the embarrassment that would come from reversing its decision."
 Simon Pearl of the London-based law firm Davies Arnold Cooper, which will represent Upjohn in the action, explained, "Upjohn is challenging the validity of the Licensing Authority decision in accordance with Section 107 of the Medicines Act. The case will be heard by a High Court judge who will have an opportunity of considering the evidence put before him by Upjohn and the Licensing Authority."
 Smith said, "We regret having to take such a drastic action. We know from experience how expensive and time consuming a lawsuit can be -- even if you win. But this product is safe when it's used appropriately. We believe there are insufficient grounds for the Licensing Authority's actions. We have invested enormous resources in answering questions they've raised. Now we want an independent review of their rejection of those answers."
 In recent months, Finland and Jamaica both returned Halcion to their markets following scientific reviews. Both had suspended Halcion immediately after the U.K. did so in October 1991. Halcion is registered in more than 80 other countries around the world. It continues to be suspended in Brazil, Argentina and Norway.
 The Upjohn Company is a worldwide, research-based provider of human health care products, animal health products, agronomic and vegetable seeds and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, the company has been dedicated to improving health and nutrition for more than a century.
 -0- 6/24/93
 /CONTACT: Kaye Bennett of The Upjohn Company, 616-323-4224/
 (UPJ)


CO: The Upjohn Company ST: Michigan IN: MTC SU:

ML -- DE005 -- 5182 06/24/93 09:09 EDT
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Date:Jun 24, 1993
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