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April 7, 2011

Another foreign source of key lethal injection drug to stop sales to US

As detailed in this AP article, which is headlined "Pharmaceutical company in India stops sale of key lethal injection drug to US states," another source for states to acquire materials needed for execution has now dried up.  Here is how the piece begins:

A pharmaceutical company in India that supplied a key lethal injection drug to at least one U.S. state and reached out to a half dozen others announced Thursday it was no longer selling the drug to American prison officials, drying up yet another source of the drug amid a severe shortage.

Kayem Pharmaceutical was fast becoming a major supplier of sodium thiopental, a sedative in the three-drug lethal injection cocktail that most of the 34 death penalty states use. The sole American manufacturer stopped making the drug last year and since then at least seven states have obtained the scarce drug overseas; others got it from fellow states.

Mumbai-based Kayem said on its website it made the decision to “refrain ourselves in selling this drug where the purpose is purely for lethal injection and its misuse” because it cherished the “ethos of Hinduism.”

Nebraska announced in January it had acquired 500 grams of the drug from Kayem, and a company salesman said he also sold the drug to South Dakota prison officials. A spokeswoman for the South Dakota attorney general said the state bought 500 grams for $5,000, but Sara Rabern wouldn’t say what company the state purchased the drug from.

The salesman, Tony Atwater, said he and a colleague reached out to about eight states. “We were seeing a lot of interest in sodium thiopental, but states are scared,” said Atwater, who is planning on leaving the firm. “They want to wait until all the lawsuits are hashed out.”

April 7, 2011 at 06:28 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The prisons should use some that meth manufacturing chemical talent to make their own sedatives. Enjoin the FDA and the DEA from their harassment on behalf of vicious murderers. This is not the manufacture of a drug. It is the manufacture of a poison.

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Posted by: small toy | Jul 23, 2011 3:02:27 AM

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