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COURT DENIES MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION FILED BY JOHNSON & JOHNSON-MERCK

 COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (NYSE: RPR) announced today that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by Johnson & Johnson-Merck (J&J-Merck) against RPR over a promotional claim touting the stronger acid neutralizing capacity of Extra Strength Maalox Plus(R).
 Following an extensive hearing, the court held that J&J-Merck had not shown it was likely to succeed on the merits of its claim under the Lanham Act.
 J&J-Merck is a joint venture of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK), which was formed to market over-the-counter products in 1990. The company manufactures and markets Mylanta Double- Strength(R).
 J&J-Merck filed this suit on Nov. 14, 1991. A related J&J-Merck challenge was denied by the three major television networks over two years ago. In addition, J&J-Merck suffered a defeat in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1992 in a challenge against another competitor in the antacid market.
 "We are pleased with the ruling, since our advertising claim is based on the FDA mandated test of acid neutralization," said Gary Downing, senior vice president and general manager, RPR Consumer Products. "RPR will continue its strategy of building market share for Maalox, the world's leading antacid," added Downing.
 Extra Strength Maalox Plus is an over-the-counter antacid indicated for symptomatic relief of heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. It also contains simethicone, an ingredient used to alleviate the symptoms of excess gas. Extra Strength Maalox Plus is available in liquid and tablet form.
 Heartburn and acid indigestion often result from too much acid in the stomach or esophagus. An antacid, like Maalox, is designed to neutralize the excess acid. Acid neutralizing capacity refers to the amount of acid neutralized in a simple laboratory test.
 RPR was represented by Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler. Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. is a global pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, marketing and manufacturing of human pharmaceuticals. The company reported sales of $4.0 billion and invested more than $500 million in research and development in 1992.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Pearson of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, 215-454-3872/
 (RPR JNJ MRK)


CO: Rhone-Poulenc Rorer; Johnson & Johnson-Merck; U.S. District Court
 for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:


CC -- PH015 -- 2937 02/04/93 11:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 4, 1993
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