Kirby McInerney & Squire LLP Commences Class Action Lawsuit Against Merck & Co., Inc. -- MRK

New York, New York, UNITED STATES


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., July 16, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Please take notice that the law firm of Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP has commenced a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of Merck & Co., Inc. ("Merck" or the "Company") (NYSE:MRK) in the period between July 1, 1999 and June 21, 2002, (the "class period").

A copy of the complaint is available from the Court or from Kirby McInerney & Squire. Please visit our website, which offers summary and detailed information concerning the case at www.kmslaw.com/new_cases/merck/merck.htm, or contact us by phone at (888) 529-4787 or by email at washburn@kmslaw.com.

The Complaint charges Merck and certain of its officers and directors with violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Among other things, plaintiff claims that defendants materially overstated Merck's reported revenues by approximately $14 billion during the class period by improperly including as revenue the value of co-payments made by consumers to their pharmacy to cover their portion of the cost of a prescription under an insurance plan. As the complaint alleges that, neither Merck nor its Medco unit ever received any revenue from the co-payments that were made to pharmacies. As a result, during the Class Period, defendants' financial statements were materially overstated and failed to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP").

The complaint alleges that defendants' reporting of substantially inflated revenues caused Merck's stock price to become artificially inflated during the class period. After investigative reporting by the Wall Street Journal in late June 2002 revealed that Merck had overstated its revenues by at least $4 billion, and after Merck in early July 2002 made more detailed revenue disclosures which revealed that Merck had booked $14 billion worth of patient co-payments as revenue, Merck shares lost approximately 17% of their value, falling from $52.20 per share to close below $44.00 per share on July 10, 2002.

Plaintiffs are represented by Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, which specializes in complex litigation, including securities class actions. The firm has repeatedly demonstrated its expertise in this field, and has been recognized by various courts which have appointed the firm to major positions in consolidated and multi-district litigation. The firm's efforts on behalf of shareholders in securities litigation have resulted in recoveries totaling hundreds of millions of dollars, and its achievements and quality of service have been chronicled in numerous published decisions. More information about the firm, class actions in general or about the role of the lead plaintiff in a securities class action can be obtained from Kirby McInerney & Squire's website at http://www.kmslaw.com.

If you are a member of the class described above, you may, no later than August 30, 2002, move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose, pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "PSLRA"), 15 U.S.C. section 78u-4(a). A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff". Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to seek appointment as a lead plaintiff. For more information about the case, its claims, and your rights, please contact:


    Ian Washburn
    KIRBY McINERNEY & SQUIRE, LLP
    830 Third Avenue, 10th Floor
    New York, New York  10022
    Telephone:  (212) 317-2300
    or Toll Free (888) 529-4787
    E-Mail: washburn@kmslaw.com 

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primezone.com/ca



        

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