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Merck's CEO Got $8.04 Million in 2006 Compensation

The chief executive of Merck received compensation the company valued at $8.04 million last year, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

Richard T. Clark, who is also president of the Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based drug maker, received a base salary of $1.18 million.

The bulk of Clark's compensation, however, came from the value of stock and option awards. Three such awards, granted March 3, 2006, had a total value that day of $4.85 million, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Clark also received $1.8 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, which was not included in the company's preliminary proxy statement filed Feb. 9. He also received $210,536 in miscellaneous compensation, including $30,878 for aircraft use.

The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. They may vary from totals the company reports.

Clark, 60, became CEO and president in May 2005. He replaced CEO and Chairman Raymond V. Gilmartin, who was pushed out after Merck withdrew its blockbuster arthritis pill Vioxx, sending its stock price plummeting and triggering a deluge of lawsuits.

A jury in Atlantic City decided Monday that the drug contributed to an Idaho postal worker's heart attack and said the company should pay $47.5 million in damages. If the verdict and damage amounts are upheld, it would be one of Merck's biggest losses over the drug so far.

For 2005, Clark had a salary of $917,733 and a bonus of $1.3 million. He had no bonus in 2006. Because the proxy forms have changed, a direct comparison of his compensation in 2006 and 2005 is not possible.

Merck's products include the osteoporosis treatment Fosamax, cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia, and Singulair for asthma and allergies.

In 2006, the company posted net income of $4.43 billion, or $2.03 per share, down 4% from $4.63 billion, or $2.10 per share, in 2005. Revenues totaled $22.64 billion, up 3%.

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