One of the three drugs used in leathal injections is proving to be a problem for Hospira and states. Image: Flickr / andresrueda / CC-BY

Sodium thiopental is an anesthetic drug that has one manufacturer, Hospira. Hospira has been denied a license to manufacture sodium thiopental in Italy and Germany, under certain circumstances. This means that there is now a death penalty drug shortage in the United States.

Germany and Italy deny Hospira a license to manufacture

Hospira is the only manufacturer of sodium thiopental. The company applied for a license to manufacture the drug in Italy. The Italian government, however, said it would deny the license unless Hospira could assure that the drug would never be used in lethal injection cocktails. At the same time, the German Medical Association asked distributors to reject any U.S. requests for the drug. Hospira has said it will stop production entirely, given that it will not receive a license to manufacture the drug.

Death penalty drug shortage

Now that Hospira has been denied a license to manufacture sodium thiopental, there is a death penalty drug shortage. Many states no longer have enough sodium thiopental to execute all the individuals they have on death row. The British government has also banned all exports of sodium thiopental, meaning that there is no legal source of the drug. Last year, when faced with a shortage, Arizona and California both illegally purchased the drug from a wholesaler in Britain. The death penalty has been banned in all European Union countries since at least 2008.

Sodium thiopental replacement drug

Though there is a death penalty drug shortage, some states have already turned to a sodium thiopental replacement drug. Pentobarbital is a barbituate drug with similar effects that is manufactured in the United States. Ohio has already used the replacement drug in three executions. Pentobarbital is currently used in Oregon for doctor-assisted suicide and has already been judged as “humane” by state Supreme Courts.

Sources

Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/23/lethal-injection-sodium-thiopental-hospira
MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41233372/ns/health-health_care/

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)

Connect

Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]