Friday, September 28, 2012

Drug-maker won't allow Propofol to be used for executions

Drug manufacturer Fresenius Kabi, USA, a German company with U.S. offices based in Schaumburg, Ill., and, up till now the only domestic supplier of Propofol, the anesthetic Missouri and a number of other states had been looking at as an alternative drug for use in executions, announced yesterday that it would not sell the drug for use in executions.

An Associated Press article this morning recounted that "most of the 33 states still having the death penalty have long used sodium thiopental as the first of a three-drug combination administered during lethal injections, but that became unavailable when its European supplier acknowledged pressure from death penalty opponents and stopped selling it for executions. Supplies mostly ran out or expired, forcing states to consider alternatives, with most states retaining the three-drug method but turning to pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to treat anxiety and convulsive disorders such as epilepsy, as a replacement for sodium thiopental. Now pentobarbital supplies also have shrunk after its manufacturer said it would try to prevent its use in executions."

The Associated Press also said neither the Missouri Attorney General's office nor Department of Corrections were available for comment on the news with it having been announced last summer that it was adopting Propofol into its lethal injection protocol. There are also several suits challenging Missouri’s decision to use Propofol. (See earlier posting)

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