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MARION MERRELL DOW COMMENTS ON COURT CASE

 KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Marion Merrell Dow Inc. (NYSE: MKC) today issued the following statement:
 The United States Supreme Court, in a 7-2 opinion, today agreed with the legal position of Marion Merrell Dow and the Solicitor General of the United States that trial judges must exercise a "gatekeeper" role to assure that expert witnesses testify only to claims that are scientific knowledge and not mere hypotheses or subjective opinions.
 The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because the Circuit Court had stated that such expert claims must be generally accepted and published in peer reviewed publications. While acknowledging that these are among the appropriate criteria of admissibility, the Supreme Court rejected the Circuit Court's exclusive reliance upon them.
 The Supreme Court also agreed with Marion Merrell Dow, noting that to be reliable, general scientific claims must be able to be tested and must be submitted to the procedures and methods of science, which often, but not always, include publication and peer review. In addition, the Supreme Court strongly rejected the argument of petitioners that assigning this important gatekeeper role to trial judges in screening out unreliable scientific claims will stifle the progress of science.
 The test set forth by the Supreme Court today is similar to that adopted by the Third Circuit Court in DeLuca v. Merrell Dow, under which the trial judge in a Bendectin(R) case rejected the plaintiff's scientific testimony and entered judgment for Merrell Dow.
 The Supreme Court's ruling came in the Daubert lawsuit involving Bendectin. In December 1991, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals had upheld an earlier ruling by the U.S. District Court in San Diego granting summary judgment against the plaintiffs because there was insufficient admissible evidence to go to trial. In that decision, the appeals court held that the plaintiffs could not use evidence based on a scientific methodology that diverged from what is generally recognized as acceptable in the field.
 Marion Merrell Dow believes that the allegations in these lawsuits are without merit. To date there have been 35 other cases in which the issue of whether Bendectin causes birth defects has been determined. Verdicts or judgments in favor of Merrell Dow have been obtained in 33 of these cases, one of which involved approximately 1,150 plaintiffs. Appeals are pending in the other two cases, where judgments currently stand in favor of plaintiffs.
 The safety of Bendectin is supported by more than 35 published epidemiological studies or reports which show that there was no cause and effect relationship between Bendectin and birth defects. The Supreme Court decision today did not focus on that issue or the merits of the case itself.
 Bendectin, the only prescription drug approved in the United States for treating nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, was marketed for 27 years before manufacturing was discontinued by Merrell Dow in 1983 because of the costs and pressures resulting from litigation. During that period, it is estimated that Bendectin was used to treat nausea and vomiting in over 33 million pregnancies worldwide. Although it is not currently being manufactured or distributed in the United States, Bendectin remains approved by the FDA and regulatory agencies in many countries.
 As a matter of principle, the company will continue to vigorously contest these lawsuits and similar ones. Although the outcome of such litigation cannot be predicted with any certainty, the company does not believe that it would have material exposure financially from future litigation.
 Marion Merrell Dow is a research-based global pharmaceutical organization dedicated to improving the longevity and quality of human life. The company is involved in the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products worldwide.
 -0- 6/28/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Thompson or Charles F. Rouse III of Marion Merrell Dow, 816-966-4000/
 (MKC)


CO: Marion Merrell Dow Inc. ST: Missouri IN: MTC SU:

MC -- DV004 -- 6323 06/28/93 14:18 EDT
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Date:Jun 28, 1993
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