Legal Intervention by Hikma Pharmaceuticals in Nevada
On July 26th, Hikma Pharmceuticals moved to intervene in a lawsuit in Nevada, challenging the state’s “illegal and unauthorized acquisition and possession” of Hikma Fentanyl.
In doing so, Hikma joined the American pharmaceuticals company Alvogen, which sued the state of Nevada on July 10th to prevent the use of its medicines in an upcoming execution. Alvogen sought the return of its Midazolam, which Nevada had acquired “illicitly and through subterfuge.”
The following day, a Nevada court issued an order prohibiting Nevada officials from using Alvogen’s drug in an upcoming execution, effectively blocking the scheduled execution of Scott Dozier that day.
Lawyers for the company alleged that state officials acquired its medicines unlawfully, without disclosing to its supplier that the medicines were intended for a non-therapeutic use. Nevada officials were aware of Alvogen’s position on this issue because the company had submitted letters to state officials in every executing state informing them of Alvogen’s opposition to the use of its products in capital punishment.
The pharmaceutical company Sandoz, which produces the paralytic Cisatracurium Besylate in Nevada’s protocol, formally objected to its medicines being used in this execution.
This lawsuit marks the latest legal intervention by a healthcare company in opposition to the misuse of medicines in executions. In April 2017, America’s largest drug wholesaler McKesson sued the Arkansas Department of Correction after the state purchased McKesson products through “false pretense, trickery, and bad faith.”