Claudia Lauer of the Associated Press reports today that the manufacturer of the potassium chloride that is the killing agent in the state’s three-drug death cocktail asked the Department of Correction last July not to use the drugs.
One of the weirder facts to come to light after eight men were sentenced to die by lethal injection the two weeks of April was that Kelley drove to an undisclosed location to pick up the potassium chloride from the supplier, put it in her car and then talked to the supplier about payment. When the supplier learned there would be a public record of the sale, “[the supplier] said, ‘Never mind, I’ll just donate it,’ ” Kelley testified in federal court.
Fresenius Kabi USA, the manufacturer, states in its contracts with suppliers that its drug is not to be used for capital punishment, according to Lauer’s story.
According to Fresenius’ July letter, use of its drugs in executions could result in stricter regulations from the European Union, which bans the export of drugs used in lethal injections. Company spokesman Matt Kuhn confirmed that President and CEO John Ducker wrote the letter as well as another sent in 2016 and one sent in recent weeks.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the parent company for West-Ward, which the AP identified in 2015 as the likely maker of Arkansas’ midazolam, also wrote letters to the Correction Department last year seeking the return of its drugs.