Las Vegas Sun

July 18, 2019

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The latest: 3 companies object to drugs’ use in execution

Drug Company Lawsuit

Steve Marcus

Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez speaks to Alvogen attorneys during a hearing in court Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Alvogen produces one the drugs to be used in the execution of Scott Dozier. Alvogen filed court documents Tuesday saying Nevada prison officials illegally obtained the sedative midazolam and demanding it not used in Dozier’s execution.

Updated Wednesday, July 11, 2018 | 11:18 a.m.

Drug Company Lawsuit

Lauren Kaufman, staff attorney with the Nevada ACLU, speaks to reporters after Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez used in favor of the drug company Alvogen at the Regional Justice Center Wednesday, July 11, 2018. Alvogen produces one the drugs that was to be used in the execution of Scott Dozier. Launch slideshow »

The latest on the execution of twice-convicted killer in Nevada (all times local):

10:08 a.m.

Three drug companies have now objected to Nevada's efforts to use their drugs to execute a man via lethal injection.

Drugmaker Alvogen filed a lawsuit that went before a judge Wednesday seeking to prevent its sedative midazolam from being used in a lethal injection for twice-convicted killer Scott Raymond Dozier.

Alvogen attorney Todd Bice says the state duped its regular pharmaceutical distributor, Cardinal Health, into selling the drug after Alvogen made clear that it opposed the use of its products in executions.

Assistant Solicitor General Jordan Smith says Nevada never tried to hide its purpose. He said Alvogen didn't have a contract in place with Cardinal Health that would have blocked the drug's sale for executions.

Cardinal Health did not immediately respond to phone or email requests for comment.

Sandoz, which produces other drugs Nevada plans to use in the execution, said it wanted to object to the procedure although it hasn't yet joined the suit.

Pfizer last year demanded that Nevada return its drugs that the state intended to use for the execution. Nevada has refused.


9:20 a.m.

A second drug company is asking to intervene in a last-minute Nevada court hearing hours before a twice-convicted killer is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection.

Drug company Sandoz wants to join New Jersey-based drugmaker Alvogen in its objection to the Wednesday evening execution of Scott Raymond Dozier.

Sandoz produces the paralytic cisatracurium and the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which are two of the three drugs Nevada had planned to use on Dozier in a first-of-its-kind combination.

Alvogen produces the sedative midazolam, which Nevada Department of Prisons Brooke Santina says Wednesday was the first drug scheduled to be used on Dozier according to the protocol signed by department director James Dzurenda. She says she did not know of any alternative.


10:57 p.m.

A man scheduled to be executed in Nevada on Wednesday is steadfast in his desire to be put to death, but a final-hour lawsuit by a drug company could halt his lethal injection.

New Jersey-based Alvogen says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday it doesn't want its product used in "botched" executions.

Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez scheduled a same-day hearing Wednesday morning to decide if Scott Raymond Dozier's execution can take place 11 hours later in the northeastern Nevada town of Ely.

A Nevada prisons spokeswoman did not comment.

Dozier has said repeatedly he wants to die and doesn't care if it's painful.

The lawsuit is the second legal challenge to an execution by a drug company in the U.S.

A previous challenge in Arkansas was unsuccessful.