Ohio says it will switch to new drugs for executions

CLEVELAND Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:12pm EDT

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CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio said on Monday that it does not have enough of the drug pentobarbital to carry out a scheduled execution next month, the latest U.S. state to face a scarcity after the European manufacturer banned its sale for lethal injections of prisoners sentenced to death.

Ohio is one of a number of U.S. states which have been forced to look to new suppliers such as lightly regulated "compounding pharmacies," or turn to new drugs for executions because major pharmaceutical companies are opposed to use of their drugs in carrying out the death penalty.

On October 10, Ohio published a new execution guideline which allowed the state to seek pentobarbital from a compounding pharmacy, a type of supplier that is not closely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Danish manufacturer of pentobarbital, Lundbeck LLC, has banned its sale to prisons or corrections departments for the death penalty. The European Union, of which Denmark is a member, is opposed to the death penalty and has put pressure on U.S. states to stop the practice.

On Monday, Ohio prison officials notified the state that Ohio does not have "sufficient quantity" of pentobarbital to carry out the execution of Ronald Phillips on November 14, according to Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.

She said the state will turn to the drugs midazolam and hydromorphone, which are not commonly used in lethal injections, for the Phillips execution.

(Reporting By Kim Palmer; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Alden Bentley and David Gregorio)

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Comments (6)
Kyllein wrote:
They may run into trouble if the drug pentobarbitol is specifically named in the protocols used for the death penalty. Under the law, another drug may create an appealable situation, and drag the case out past Nov 14.
Why not use something like Sarin, which is available from the government? Compounding pharmacies don’t have the best record when it comes to making specific drugs, and pentobarb is supposedly not that easy to make.
Maybe they should rethink the whole thing.

Oct 28, 2013 2:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
dbben wrote:
oh pleazzzze. with all the narcotics the feds capture and burn up in smoke, and all those narcotics used for so called “humane euthanasia’s” of our pets and unwanted animals, i seriously doubt there is a “shortage” of death killing chemicals. SERIOUSLY DOUBTFUL.

Oct 28, 2013 2:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:
OMG, Ohio will now experiment on live humans (FYI, criminals are still human) in order to find ways to eventually kill them. What’s the matter with a rope, or guns with real bullets? Of course, Ohio also sends Boehner to Washington, need we look any further than that?
Ohio is a vile collection of barbarians and intellectually challenged folk who still believe that two wrongs make a right, and take the evil practice of an eye for an eye, and raise it to an art form; their bad.

Oct 28, 2013 3:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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