U.S. States Deprived of Lethal Injection Drug

States in the U.S. are likely to be deprived of a widely used drug in lethal injections because its maker has announced it will stop producing the drug. The maker, Hospira Inc., had planned to produce the drug, called sodium thiopenthal in Italy.

But, Italian authorities have indicated they will ban the drug’s export as it is used for lethal injections. Hospira does not manufacture sodium thiopenthal in the U.S. The drug is used by 34 states in lethal injections.

Last year, lack of sodium thiopenthal delayed executions in Oklahoma and California. Last fall, Arizona and California imported the drug from England, but currently the British government has stopped exporting it because it is used to carry out capital punishment.

Texas’ sodium thiopenthal stock will become unusable in March. The state is exploring the possibility of using an alternate drug. One alternative drug is pentobarbital, which is used in Oregon to carry out legal human euthanasia.

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