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ARKANSAS (USA): PHARMA FIRMS TRY TO STOP USE OF THEIR PRODUCTS IN ARKANSAS EXECUTIONS

April 14, 2017:

Arkansas plans to execute a record number of inmates this month but drug firms don't want their products used for the deaths.
Two drug companies have asked a federal judge to stop Arkansas from using their products to execute a record seven prisoners by the end of the month.
The companies - Fresenius Kabi USA and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp - filed a brief in a lawsuit by the seven inmates which is aimed at preventing the executions. Both say they object to their drugs being used for capital punishment and have put strict controls on their supplies to prevent this. In the court filing, they say: "The use of the medicines in lethal injections runs counter to the manufacturers' mission to save and enhance patients' lives, and carries with it not only a public-health risk, but also reputational, fiscal and legal risks." A ruling is expected on Friday.
Arkansas has not had an execution in 12 years but it plans to kill seven inmates over 11 days from 17 April, a record since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Due to a 2015 state law, the source of the three lethal injection ingredients is secret and the state's governor Asa Hutchinson and the attorney general's office both declined to comment on the actions of the two companies.
But Fresenius Kabi said it appeared to have made the potassium chloride the state will use to stop the heart of each inmate. Fresenius said it had also tried to confirm this but to no avail, adding that it had no record of any potassium chloride sales through authorised distributors to the state prison system. Company spokesman Matt Kuhn said: "We can only conclude Arkansas may have acquired this product from an unauthorised seller.
"Pharmaceuticals obtained in this manner are at risk of adulteration or chemical change due to improper handling such as failure to maintain proper temperature levels during storage and transport." West-Ward was named by The Associated Press as the likely manufacturer of the state's midazolam, used to sedate an inmate. A spokesman for Hikma, West-Ward's parent company said they had made "repeated... unsuccessful" efforts to get officials in Arkansas to confirm whether their product was to be used "and, if so, to return it to us". Pfizer-owned Hospira was named by AP as the supplier of the third drug vecuronium bromide, which stops a prisoner's breathing, but the company said they had also objected to its use in lethal injections.
Pfizer Inc. said drugs that can be used to execute inmates by lethal injection were sold to the Arkansas Department of Corrections without its knowledge by the distributor McKesson Corp., in violation of the drugmaker’s policy. The statement followed a report in the New Yorker that the state of Arkansas was planning to execute seven people before the end of April, after which the lethal injection drugs will expire. Pfizer and other companies have attempted to block the use of their products in lethal injections. In this case, according to Pfizer, the drugs were sold to the state by San Francisco-based McKesson, one of the U.S.’s largest distributors of pharmaceuticals. “Without Pfizer’s knowledge, McKesson, a distributor, sold the product to” the Arkansas Department of Corrections, Pfizer said in a statement. “This was in direct violation of our policy.” The drugmaker said it twice asked the state to return the drugs. “We considered other means by which to secure the return of the product, up to and including legal action,” Pfizer said in the statement. “After careful consideration, we determined that it was highly unlikely that any of these means would secure the timely return of the product and thereby prevent this misuse.”
In a statement Thursday, McKesson also said that Arkansas “intentionally sought to circumvent McKesson’s policies” and that vecuronium bromide was procured “under the auspices that it would be used for medical purposes.” McKesson requested that the product be returned and refunded, Kristin Hunter, a spokeswoman, said in the statement. The company is now considering “all possible means by which to secure the return of the product, up to and including legal action.”
The Arkansas Department of Corrections didn’t respond to a request for comment made after business hours. Rachel Hooper, a spokeswoman for New York-based Pfizer, declined to say whether Pfizer would take any other action against McKesson for violating the policy.

(Source: bloomberg.com, news.sky.com, 14/04/2017)

IRREDUCIBLE LIFE SENTENCES IN THE UK AND ITALY?
VIETNAM, CHINA HIDING DEADLY SECRET ON EXECUTION FIGURES, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REVEAL
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE PEOPLE EXECUTED FOR HEROIN SMUGGLING
ARKANSAS (USA): LEDELL LEE WAS EXECUTED, THE FIRST IN THE STATE SINCE 2005
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED ON MURDER CHARGES
ARKANSAS (USA): KENNETH WILLIAMS EXECUTED
ZAMBIA HAS 168 MEN AND 2 WOMEN ON DEATH ROW
PAKISTAN: FOUR TTP TERRORISTS SENTENCED BY MILITARY COURTS HANGED
SOMALIA: FOUR MILITANTS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD IN BAIDOA CITY
ARKANSAS (USA): JACK JONES EXECUTED
ARKANSAS (USA): MARCEL WILLIAMS EXECUTED
TEXAS (USA): PRISONS VIOLATE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS
IRAN TRIES TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY FOR TRAFFICKING AS IT WRESTLES WITH RISING DRUG CHARGES
CHINA: MAN EXECUTED FOR KILLING TWO YOUNG WOMEN, RAPING CORPSE
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT EXECUTES POLICE OFFICER FOR KILLING CIVILIAN
SINGAPORE: MAN HANGED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED ON DRUG CHARGES
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS EXECUTED AT RAJAI SHAHR PRISON
JUDGE BLOCKS ARKANSAS FROM USING LETHAL INJECTION DRUG
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS HANGED IN SHIRAZ AND TABRIZ
PAKISTAN: LHC UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF CONVICT
U.S. SUPREME COURT LET STAND THE STAYS FOR DON DAVIS AND BRUCE WARD
TURKEY: ERDOGAN SAYS COULD HOLD REFERENDUM ON DEATH PENALTY
MALAYSIA: HOTEL MANAGER GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
QATAR: FILIPINO CONVICTED OF SPYING SPARED FROM GALLOWS
JAPAN: TOP COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY FOR ‘BLACK WIDOW’ WHO MURDERED THREE MEN SHE MET ONLINE
IRAN: MAN WHO KILLED SIX IN SHOOTING SPREE PUBLICLY HANGED IN ARAK
BANGLADESH: MUFTI HANNAN, 2 OTHERS HANGED
10 KENYANS WHO MURDERED MILITARY MAN SENTENCED TO HANG
IRAN: PRISONER WITH MENTAL ILLNESS EXECUTED ON MURDER CHARGES

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