Fresenius Kabi Files Amicus Brief in Arkansas

Fresenius Kabi Files Amicus Brief in Arkansas

April 13, 2017

LAKE ZURICH, Ill., April 13, 2017 – Fresenius Kabi has filed an amicus brief with West-Ward Pharmaceuticals in a pending case in Arkansas filed by inmates against the Governor and Director of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

The brief was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division in Case No. 4:17-cv-179-KGB.

Fresenius Kabi understands the state of Arkansas may have acquired quantities of the company’s potassium chloride from an unauthorized source, or sources, and that the state intends to use the medication in executions this month.

While Fresenius Kabi takes no position on capital punishment, we strongly object to the use of our products for this purpose. Our products were developed and are approved solely for patient care, and we expressly restrict the sale of our products for use in lethal injection procedures.

Our information indicates no sales of potassium chloride – directly nor through any of our authorized distributors – to the Arkansas Department of Correction. That is, we made no sales to the Department of Correction, nor have any of our authorized distributors. So we can only conclude Arkansas may have acquired this product from an unauthorized seller.

Pharmaceuticals obtained in this manner are at risk of adulteration or chemical change due to improper handling such as failure to maintain proper temperature levels during storage and transport.

Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies. We work closely with the FDA and hospitals to assure an uninterrupted supply of our products. The European Union has banned exports of certain medicines when they are used, or considered for use, in lethal injection.

Our interest is to avoid unnecessary drug shortages and ensure the lifesaving medicines we supply remain immediately available to patients.

Fresenius Kabi and most major U.S. and international pharmaceutical manufacturers have established distribution controls in the United States to assure their products are not sold for use in lethal injection. Medical associations have put in place similar restrictions on the participation of their members in state executions.

Fresenius Kabi has written to the Governor and his staff on this matter, offered to speak to the governor and/or his staff, and asked the Governor to assure the company’s medicines would not be used in lethal injection. To date, we have received no direct responses.

About Fresenius Kabi
Fresenius Kabi ( is a global health care company that specializes in medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion, and clinical nutrition. The company’s products and services are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. The company’s U.S. headquarters is in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The company’s global headquarters is in Bad Homburg, Germany.


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Fresenius Kabi
Matt Kuhn