« Interesting sentencing doings and debates across the pond | Main | Should Conrad Black's lord-like prison behavior impact his resentencing? »

June 8, 2011

"Lundbeck 'Horrified' at Drug Execution Use"

The title of this post is the headline of this new piece from the Wall Street Journal, which gets started this way:

Danish pharmaceutical company Lundbeck A/S said Wednesday it's urgently seeking ways to stop prisons in the U.S. from using one of its epilepsy drugs being used for executions. The company's Nembutal medicine, designed to treat epileptic seizures, is increasingly being used in prison executions in the U.S. even though it wasn't meant for that purpose.

"We are horrified at this fact and are looking at ways to prevent prisons from getting this drug, including tougher conditions on distribution," Lundbeck spokesman Mads Kronborg said Wednesday. The drug, acquired when the Danish company bought U.S.-based firm Ovation in 2009, is of no strategic importance to Lundbeck and represents less than 1% of the Danish drug maker's overall sales.

"At first we considered stopping production of this product but there is a medical need for it and hospitals pleaded with us not to cut off the supply. It is the mother of all dilemmas for us," Mr. Kronborg said.

Generically known as pentobarbital, the drug was designed to treat epileptic seizures, and is also sometimes used to euthanize animals. Oklahoma, Texas and Ohio are among the eleven states that have acquired supplies of the drug for use in executions.

Lundbeck's Chief Executive Ulf Wiinberg is weighing a number of options to cut off supplies of the drug to prisons, including switching to specialist wholesalers and "end user clauses".

"When we first learned of this misuse of our drug we went public and protested strongly to the relevant prison governors and state politicians," Mr. Wiinberg said in an interview Wednesday. "When it comes to distribution, we are exploring different ways to ensure that the drug is used as intended and there are several options you can consider—we haven't finalized the plan yet but I'm hoping we'll have one fairly soon." He said the Danish State is also trying to help. Like most European countries, Denmark opposes capital punishment.

June 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "Lundbeck 'Horrified' at Drug Execution Use":


there is a pretty simple solution for the company if in fact it has a problem and it's not just some media stunt!

Revoke the united state's license to use the drug. Stop any further export of the drug to anyone who will not guarantee in writing to NOT pass it on the united states.

****sound familiar u.s. federal govt*****

this is the same procedure we use for items we dont' want other countries to have!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 8, 2011 11:35:43 AM

Just stop selling it and prohibit its use in hospitals, clinics, vet offices... Just what a good liberal company would do. Deprive its use to millions to save a dozen. Left lunacy.

Posted by: DeanO | Jun 8, 2011 3:04:13 PM

well dean0 all i'm saying is they could use the SAME rules we created and have been using against the rest of the world for 50-60 years! we can't scream when someone starts doing to US....what we have done to them for decades!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 8, 2011 10:46:29 PM

Nembutal killed Marilyn Monroe.

Here is the solution, repeated several times in the comments, but no one responsible wants to try it.

Prison enterprises recruits a bunch of meth manufacturers with bachelors in chemistry. Then they produce this 19th Century product, using established 19th Century recipes. Sell it to the states at good prices.

If Betty can cook it up, the prison enterprises can too.

Here is her nembutal cooking show.


This is not the making of a drug with health claims. It the making of a poison not within the jurisdiction of the FDA nor or the DEA. If these goons show up, just throw them out. Get a federal injunction to make them bug off.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 9, 2011 5:25:48 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB