Drug Company Files Another Lawsuit Against Arkansas Over Use Of Execution Drugs

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — McKesson Medical-Surgical has filed a complaint against the Pulaski County Circuit Court on Tuesday (April 18).

McKesson alleges that the Arkansas Department of Corrections illegally obtained certain the execution drug Vecuronium in July 2016, by not disclosing they were buying the drug with the intent to execute prisoners. The drug is used as an anesthesia.

The lawsuit states that McKesson does not produce Vecuronium, but is authorized to buy and sell it. However, one of the stipulations is that the company can not sell the drug to federal and state correctional facilities that engage in capital punishment.

McKesson alleges that it filled the state’s order for the drug under the notion that ADC would use it for “legitimate medical purpose, consistent with Arkansas State Medical Board Regulations,” which state in part that licensed physicians cannot administer dangerous or controlled drugs to someone for a reason other than a legitimate medical purpose.

The lawsuit requests that Arkansas return its supply of Vecuronium, which is set to be used in the upcoming executions.

This is the second lawsuit McKesson has filed. The other was dismissed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Alice Gray over the weekend.

Arkansas attorney general Leslie Rutledge filed a request to move the trial to Faulkner County on Tuesday afternoon, citing the former lawsuit, which was originally tried by Judge Wendell Griffen, who granted a temporary restraining order.

On Monday, Griffen was removed from all cases involving the death penalty over concerns that he couldn’t be impartial in such cases. He participated in two anti-death penalty rallies on Friday (April 14)




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