Company wants Neb. to return lethal injection drug

By MARGERY A. BECK | November 29, 2011 | 5:20 PM EST

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Swiss pharmaceutical company is asking Nebraska officials to return a drug the state intends to use in lethal injections.

Nebraska officials announced earlier this month that they had obtained a new supply of sodium thiopental from Swiss company Naari AG.

Naari CEO Prithi Kochhar has since sent letters to officials including Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, asking to have the drug returned. Kochhar says his company is deeply opposed to the drug's use in executions.

The letters were first reported Tuesday by the Lincoln Journal Star (

Kochhar says Naari gave a middleman in India free samples to use as an anesthetic in Zambia, but the middleman instead sold the samples to Nebraska.

Bruning's office says the drug was legally exported from Indian and imported to the U.S.