Alvogen sues Nevada for return of medicines

The Lethal Injection Information Center - July 2018

The American pharmaceutical company Alvogen has sued the state of Nevada to prevent the use of its medicines in the execution of Scott Dozier, which is scheduled for tomorrow.

Lawyers for the company allege that Nevada officials acquired Alvogen medicines “illicitly and through subterfuge,” in the process violating state laws intended to tackle the opioid epidemic and prevent the misuse of dangerous drugs.

Alvogen’s motion, filed in Nevada court, seeks an emergency injunction and the immediate return of its medicines. The company has sued the Nevada Department of Corrections, its director James Dzurenda, its Chief Medical Officer Ihsan Azzam, as well as the physicians due to attend Dozier’s scheduled execution.

Alvogen alleges that state officials acquired its medicines unlawfully, without disclosing to its supplier that the medicines were intended for a non-therapeutic use, or that it knew Alvogen to be opposed to this misuse. The company also claims the medicines were purchased using the medical license of the DOC’s Director, which was employed “surreptitiously, evasively, illicitly, and by subterfuge.”

UPDATE: On July 11, 2018, a Nevada judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the scheduled execution of Scott Dozier by ruling that the state may not use the company’s medicine as part of its lethal injection protocol.

The judge noted that this ruling was necessary to protect Alvogen from the “irreparable harm to its reputation as a company that produces life-enhancing and life-saving drugs if [Nevada officials] are allowed to misuse its product midazolam.”

Read more from Alvogen's complaint Read more from the court's restraining order