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The Latest: Nevada won't return execution drug to Pfizer

November 17, 2017 - 4:13 PM

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Latest on a pharmaceutical company's demand that states not use drugs it made for lethal injection executions (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

An official says Nevada doesn't plan to return one of the drugs obtained for use in an upcoming execution, despite a demand by pharmaceutical company Pfizer that its drugs not be used for lethal injections.

A spokeswoman acknowledged the Nevada Department of Corrections received a letter Oct. 4 similar to one received by officials in Nebraska and reported by the Omaha World-Herald.

The Nevada letter, obtained by The Associated Press, seeks the return of the sedative diazepam (di-AHZ'-uh-pam) or the opioid painkiller fentanyl (FEN'-tah-nil) if it was manufactured by Pfizer.

Nevada prisons spokeswoman Brooke Keast says the state is under no obligation to return Pfizer-made diazepam that the state obtained last May through its normal pharmacy supplier, Cardinal Health.

Pfizer in May 2016 said it would block distribution of its drugs for executions in the 31 states in the U.S. with the death penalty.


This item has been corrected to show that in May 2016 Pfizer said it would block distribution of its drugs for executions, not May 2015.


1 p.m.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer is demanding that Nebraska return any drugs manufactured by the company or its affiliate that the state plans to use in an execution.

News of the demand, made in a letter from Pfizer to state officials last month, comes after state prison officials announced last week a new combination of four drugs to be used in the execution of death row inmate Jose Sandoval. No execution date has been set.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Oct. 4 letter from Pfizer says the company "strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

Officials with the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services and the office of Gov. Pete Ricketts declined to tell the newspaper whether the state had obtained any Pfizer drugs.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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