updated 3/16/2011 1:18:13 PM ET 2011-03-16T17:18:13

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation (NYSE:MRX) is the only pharmaceutical company in the world named to the Ethisphere Institute's prestigious 2011 World's Most Ethical Companies list. Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies list is an admired roster of high-performing organizations that have achieved leadership positions in their respective industries through exemplary business ethics and corporate responsibility.

"Our business model is based upon providing physicians and patients with the safest and most effective medications and treatments possible," explained Jonah Shacknai, Medicis founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We hope physicians and patients make their choices on the basis of sound scientific information, and are not influenced by extraneous factors. To that end, we demand of ourselves the highest standards of behavior."

The announcement of the winners coincided with the Global Ethics Summit, held this week in New York City, where Shacknai and Medicis General Counsel Seth Rodner delivered the opening keynote address. Their presentation provided unique insights into the successful business, legal and compliance collaboration at Medicis resulting in the Company's compliance achievements.

This significant honor resulted from a rigorous independent evaluation process conducted on over 3,000 companies worldwide by the Ethisphere Institute, a leading international think tank dedicated to the ideal of creating sustainable competitive advantage through better business practices and corporate citizenship. Pursuant to this review process, Medicis is the only organization across the entirety of the highly regulated U.S. and global pharmaceutical industry to be awarded a place on this year's rankings.  Medicis is joined by such well-respected firms as Adidas, American Express, eBay, Ford Motor Company, PepsiCo, Starbucks and Xerox Corporation.

About Medicis

Medicis is the leading independent specialty pharmaceutical company in the United States focusing primarily on the treatment of dermatological and aesthetic conditions.  The Company is dedicated to helping patients attain a healthy and youthful appearance and self-image.  Medicis has leading branded prescription products in a number of therapeutic and aesthetic categories.  The Company's products have earned wide acceptance by both physicians and patients due to their clinical effectiveness, high quality and cosmetic elegance.

The Company's products include the brands DYSPORT® (abobotulinumtoxinA) 300 Units for Injection, PERLANE® Injectable Gel, PERLANE-L® Injectable Gel with 0.3% Lidocaine,  RESTYLANE® Injectable Gel, RESTYLANE-L® Injectable Gel with 0.3% Lidocaine, DYNACIN® (minocycline HCl Tablets, USP), LOPROX® (ciclopirox) Gel 0.77% and Shampoo 1%, Cleansing Cloths and SCT, SOLODYN® (minocycline HCl, USP) Extended Release Tablets, VANOS® (fluocinonide) Cream 0.1%, ZIANA® (clindamycin phosphate 1.2% and tretinoin 0.025%) Gel, AMMONUL® (sodium phenylacetate and sodium benzoate) Injection 10%/10%, BUPHENYL® (sodium phenylbutyrate) Tablets and Powder, the LIPOSONIX™ system1 and the over-the-counter brand ESOTERICA®.

For more information about Medicis, please visit the Company's website at www.Medicis.com . Printed copies of the Company's complete audited financial statements are available free of charge upon request.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that Medicis expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain assumptions made by Medicis based on its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances. No assurances can be given, however, that these activities, events or developments will occur or that such results will be achieved. Such statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of Medicis. Several of these risks are outlined in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, and other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements represent the judgment of Medicis management as of the date of this release, and Medicis disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein, which speak as of the date hereof.

NOTE: Full prescribing information for any Medicis prescription product is available by contacting the Company or by visiting www.Medicis.com .  All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

1 The LIPOSONIX™ system is not approved or cleared for sale in the U.S.

CONTACT: Medicis
         Kara Stancell (media)
         (480) 291-5454
         Sean Andrews (investors)
         (480) 291-5854

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