Athenex identified as manufacturer of execution drug; they disapprove | Arkansas Blog

Athenex identified as manufacturer of execution drug; they disapprove



 today was identified as the manufacturer of Arkansas's supply of midazolam, the first drug the state planned to use in a lethal injection execution this week that was stayed, according to the Associated Press.

The New York-based company posted a statement on its website that it "does not want any of our products used in capital punishment" and that it "does not accept orders from correctional facilities and prison systems for products believed to be part of certain states’ lethal injection protocols."

A package insert for the drug, which identified Athenex, was provided in the affidavit of Rory Griffin, deputy director of Health and Correctional Programs for ADC, this morning. You can read his affidavit here. (Director Wendy Kelley also provided an affidavit.)

Both came after the Arkansas Supreme Court last week ordered that Arkansas's secrecy laws were intended only to keep secret the supplier, not the manufacturer of drugs. Today, Judge Mackie Price ordered that the labels and inserts be released, but in a redacted form without information that could identify the seller.

As we've written before, execution drugs are bought in supply chains. After a manufacturer creates the drug, a supplier buys it and, eventually, the state buys it. This means the manufacturer may not know that their drug is being used in an execution. While Arkansas's laws make clear that the supplier who sells to Arkansas should not be identified, it does not require the manufacturer to be kept secret. The state had argued that by releasing the batch numbers, and other information on an unredacted label of the execution drugs, the supplier could be identified.

Midazolam was at the center of the state's controversial plan to execute eight men over a 10-day period of time last April. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he had to schedule the executions so close together because the state's supply of midazolam was set to expire. Kelley, just 97 days after the last execution on April 27, bought a new batch of midazolam for $250 in cash. The source has not been revealed.

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