Fresenius Kabi sues Nebraska over lethal injection drugs

Aug. 10, 2018

German drugmaker Fresenius Kabi is suing to stop a planned execution in Nebraska, claiming the state illegally obtained the company’s drugs to use for the lethal injection procedure.

Fresenius Kabi says the state was planning to use two of its drugs on August 14 in order to execute convicted killer Carey Dean Moore. The state plans to use four drugs – the sedative Diazepam, the narcotic painkiller fentanyl citrate, the muscle relaxer cisatracurium and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

THE drugmaker believes it is the source of cisatracurium and potassium chloride, and is asking a federal judge to issue an order either temporarily or permanently blocking the state from using the injectable medication.

According to the company,  this is not a political statement:
"While Fresenius Kabi takes no position on capital punishment, we strongly object to the use of our products for this purpose," the company said in a statement. " Our products were developed and are approved solely for patient care, and we expressly restrict the sale of our products for use in lethal injection procedures."

Most death penalty states do not reveal the sources of its lethal injection drugs, making it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to know if their drugs are being used in executions.