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Akorn to prisons: Give us back our execution drugs

Source: Akorn

Drugmaker Akorn has taken a stand against capital punishment.

The Illinois-based company said Wednesday it has prohibited the direct sale to prisons of hydromorphone hydrochloride and midazolam, which are used for lethal injections. The company is also asking prisons to return these drugs, adding it has sent a letter to the attorneys general of states where executions are legal, informing them of their policy shift.

Akorn also said it is taking measures so that prisons cannot purchase these drugs via wholesalers. "The company is working to ensure that its distributors and wholesalers agree to not resell midazolam and hydromorphone to departments of correction and secondary wholesalers," it said.

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Dewey Steadman, executive director at Akorn, said the policy shift puts the drugmaker in line with others, such as Hospira, that have implemented similar policies. "It's something we've always believed in and we wanted to formalize that," he said.

Steadman said Akorn's new policies became effective in January.

The company's stock price was up more than 4½ percent Wednesday afternoon. Click here for the latest price.