Two pharmaceutical companies are asking a federal judge to prevent Arkansas from using its drugs in the planned execution of seven death row inmates later this month.
Fresenius Kabi USA and West-Ward Pharmaceuticals Corp. were granted permission Thursday to file a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit filed by the inmates aimed at halting the executions.
Fresenius Kabi said it appears the potassium chloride Arkansas plans to use in its three-drug protocol was manufactured by the company and may have been acquired improperly.
The state announced last month it had obtained a new supply of the drug, but state law keeps the source of it secret. West-Ward had previously been identified by The Associated Press as the state's likely manufacturer of midazolam, which expires at the end of the month.