I-Team: Judge grants Temporary Restraining Order against using execution drug


Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez has granted a Temporary Restraining Order against the use of Midazolam in the execution of inmate Scott Dozier.

The New Jersey-based Alvogen says it didn’t want its drug used in “botched” executions. Alvogen released a statement saying it was pleased with the court’s decision and plans to ensure that its products are not used in executions.

“Alvogen is a leading global pharmaceutical company that provides medicines to improve the lives of patients around the world.”
“While Alvogen does not take a political stance on executions, Alvogen endorses the use of its products in accordance with FDA-approved indications; and does not condone the use of any of its drug products, including midazolam, for use in state sponsored executions.”
“To avoid any improper, off label use of our products in executions, 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.”
“Upon learning of the Nevada Department of Corrections’ intent to use Alvogen’s midazolam in an execution scheduled for July 11, 2018, Alvogen filed a complaint with the Clark County District Court alleging the NDOC fraudulently obtained this drug to be used in this execution.  Alvogen also filed a temporary restraining order seeking to block the use of Alvogen’s midazolam in the execution.  A hearing was held this morning and the court granted the TRO.  Alvogen is pleased with the court’s decision and will continue to work through the judicial process to ensure Alvogen’s products are not used in executions.”

Dozier was scheduled to die by lethal injection at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Nevada town of Ely. Dozier had said multiple times he is ready to die.

Todd Bice, a lawyer for Alvogen, said the drug makes make it clear to third-party wholesaler Cardinal Health and the state of Nevada that its drugs were not to be used in executions.  

Attorney Bice alleged the state used a backdoor means to obtain Midazolam by having the drug shipped to a state pharmacy in Las Vegas instead of directly to Ely State prison. 

“This is a sedative that has FDA approval for a specific purpose and this is not one of those purposes.  They just plan on misusing it,” Bice said in court.

Attorney Jordan Smith is representing the Nevada Department of Corrections.  He says “They want to make it seem like some grand scheme; some subterfuge like the Nevada Department of Corrections did this in the dark of night in some smoke-filled room or something.”

The state planned on using the sedative, along with synthetic opioid Fentanyl and Paralytic Cisatracurium.  This order is the first time the company has successfully sued to halt an execution using one of its drugs in the U.S. 

A previous challenge in Arkansas was unsuccessful. 

Dozier has been on death row for more than ten years.  He was convicted for two drug-related murders both in Nevada and Arizona.  Police say he mutilated his victims. 

Wednesday marked the second time Dozier’s execution was postponed.

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