USA: McKesson becomes 1st company to sue US state to stop its drug being used in executions

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20 April 2017

Commentary: Big pharma sends powerful message to stop its drugs being used for executions in the US

Author: Maya Foa, Reprieve, on Guardian (UK)

"Can big pharma stop the Arkansas mass executions?", 16 Apr 2017

[A] judge in Arkansas halted the state’s plans to carry out America’s largest mass execution since the civil rights era...The judge’s stay order was a response to a lawsuit by the healthcare giant McKesson [which] alleges that Arkansas deliberately and duplicitously misled the firm to obtain its medicine for use in executions...McKesson does not stand alone...[McKesson, Hikma, Pfizer and Fresenius Kabi] have crossed swords with Arkansas this week over the state’s attempts to undermine lawful contracts designed to prevent the misuse of their medicines in two of the companies wrote in their amicus last week: “The use of their medicines for lethal injections […] creates a public-health risk because it could result in the denial of medicines from patients who need them most.”... [B]ig pharma has sent a powerful message...

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15 April 2017

Arkansas executions: health giant sues state as federal judge issues injunction

Author: Ed Pilkington, Guardian (UK)

The medical supply company McKesson has become the first private company in US legal history to sue a death penalty state for the misuse of its products in executions...[Arkansas] had scheduled a series of double what would have been the most intense burst of killing in the US for at least 50 years. But...a state court...put all the executions on hold...McKesson [is] accusing the Arkansas department of corrections of misleading it...The complaint alleges [that] the corrections department “led McKesson to believe that the order was placed at the request of, or for the benefit of, the physician and would be used for a legitimate medical purpose”...the final outcome...may not be known until it reaches the US Supreme Court...

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