Nevada Judge Postpones Lethal Injection With Hours To Spare At Request Of Drug Company

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

A Nevada judge postponed the execution of a convicted murderer with hours to spare on Wednesday after a pharmaceutical company filed suit to keep one of its drugs from being used in the lethal injection.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued an order on Wednesday morning that halted the execution of convicted murderer Scott Raymond Dozier scheduled for that evening, reported the Associated Press. The state could appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court by teleconference on Wednesday afternoon. (RELATED: Trump Delays Pfizer’s Promised Drug Price Increases)

U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Alvogen claims the state obtained midazolam through “subterfuge,” although Nevada Assistant Solicitor General Jordan Smith said the state did not hide its purpose in buying the drug, reported the Associated Press.

The postponement marks the first time that a pharmaceutical company has succeeded in halting a U.S. execution that would use a drug that it manufactures. Alvogen wants to prevent Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in a newly formulated lethal injection. The specific drug combination created to be used on Dozier has never been tried in the U.S., and Alvogen does not want one of its products involved in a “botched” execution, reported the Associated Press.

Alvogen purports that midazolam has been involved in botched executions before, reported the Los Angeles Times.

“While Alvogen takes no position on the death penalty itself, Alvogen’s products were developed to save and improve patients’ lives and their use in executions is fundamentally contrary to this purpose,” said Alovgen’s lawyers according to the Los Angeles Times.

Another drugmaker, Sandoz, have also objected to the use of their drugs in the newly formulated lethal injection that was slated to be used in Dozier’s execution. Dozier, who has been convicted of two separate murders, has said that he wants to die even if it is painful. He would be the first person executed in Nevada since 2006, reported the Associated Press.

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