Drugmaker asked Arkansas not to use drug in executions

The Associated Press has obtained letters showing that a drugmaker last year asked Arkansas not to purchase its products for use in executions.

The plea was made months before Arkansas prison officials accepted “donated” potassium chloride for its first executions in more than a decade.

Fresenius Kabi USA asked Arkansas not to violate the company’s contracts with distributors that prohibit the sale of Fresenius drugs for executions. Hikma Pharmaceuticals also sent letters to confirm Arkansas has midazolam made by the company and to request it be returned because the company objects to its use in executions.

Legal and pharmaceutical experts say the methods Arkansas used to obtain drugs for executions raise concerns about the state’s respect for contracts between private businesses.

The Associated Press has obtained letters showing that a drugmaker last year asked Arkansas not to purchase its products for use in executions.

The plea was made months before Arkansas prison officials accepted “donated” potassium chloride for its first executions in more than a decade.

Fresenius Kabi USA asked Arkansas not to violate the company’s contracts with distributors that prohibit the sale of Fresenius drugs for executions. Hikma Pharmaceuticals also sent letters to confirm Arkansas has midazolam made by the company and to request it be returned because the company objects to its use in executions.

Legal and pharmaceutical experts say the methods Arkansas used to obtain drugs for executions raise concerns about the state’s respect for contracts between private businesses.