Alvogen court case causes Nevada Judge to halt execution


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A Nevada Judge has temporarily prevented the use of the sedative midazolam, in the execution of the twice convicted killer Scott Raymond Dozier, following objections from the New Jersey-based multinational Alvogen that stated it does not want its drug used in “botched” executions.

In claiming that the Nevada Department of Corrections had obtained the drug illegally, the pharmaceutical company urged a Nevada judge to prevent its use in the execution scheduled for the 11th of July.

Alvogen’s CEO Halldor Kristmannsonn noted that: “Alvogen does not accept direct orders from prison systems or departments of correction. Alvogen also works with its distributors and wholesalers to restrict any sale, either directly or indirectly, of our midazolam product to any prison system or department of corrections.”

In a hearing held just 11 hours before the death row inmate was to be put to death, the midazolam manufacturer claimed that the Nevada Department of Corrections had obtained the drug via “subterfuge”.

Both Pfizer’s Fentanyl and Sandoz’s cisatracurium were intended for use along with midazolam, in Dozier’s execution. However all three companies have raised objections to their drugs being used in the as of yet untested cocktail. While Pfizer had demanded that 31 states return drugs intended for use in executions in November of last year, Sandoz, a subsidiary of Novartis, also raised objections to the use of its drug cisatracurium in the execution of Dozier.

The Nevada judge’s order is the first time a drug company has seen success in halting an execution involving one of its drugs, in the United States.

Louis Goss