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USA: Fresenius says Nebraska should not have been able to obtain company's drug for death penalty use

Company: Nebraska shouldn’t have gotten death penalty drug, 13 April 2017

A German pharmaceutical manufacturer whose drugs ended up in Nebraska’s lethal injection supply never intended for state officials to obtain them and tried unsuccessfully to get the corrections department to return them, a company spokesman said Thursday.  Nebraska’s corrections department was only able to buy potassium chloride in 2015 because one of its U.S. distributors made a mistake, said Fresenius Kabi spokesman Matt Kuhn.  His comments came after The Associated Press asked whether company officials were aware that the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services had bought their product for use as a lethal injection drug... 

While the company takes no formal position on capital punishment, it requires distributors to sign an agreement promising not sell certain drugs to state corrections departments.  “Our products are developed and approved solely for patient care, and we expressly restrict the sale of our products for use in lethal injection,” he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, a leading critic of capital punishment, called on lawmakers to reject the push for secrecy and launch an investigation.  “These shocking allegations are just the latest illustration of how Nebraska’s death penalty is broken beyond repair,” said Danielle Conrad, the group’s executive director. The company’s statement “underscores the need to honor Nebraska’s strong tradition of open government and the need to ensure transparency in the death penalty process.”

Death penalty supporters said companies shouldn’t dictate how their products are used once they’re sold and blamed anti-death penalty activists for pressuring companies to stop selling drugs with legitimate medical purposes...

Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center,...said many pharmaceutical companies are worried about negative publicity and economic consequences in addition to moral concerns about the death penalty. [also refers to Mylan, Naari]