Missouri joins U.S. states getting execution drugs from new suppliers

Reuters

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct 22 (Reuters) - Missouri announced onTuesday that a "compounding pharmacy" would supply lethalinjection drugs for future executions, the latest U.S. state toturn to the lightly regulated sector after major pharmaceuticalcompanies refused to sell drugs for executions.

The Missouri Department of Corrections said in a briefstatement that it would switch to using a single drug forexecutions, pentobarbital. Missouri had used a three drugprotocol until recently.

"The department also announced that it has added acompounding pharmacy to its execution team," the statement said.Asked the name of the pharmacy, department spokesman David Owensaid that information could not be disclosed.

Missouri is the latest of a half dozen U.S. states turningfor lethal injection drugs to compounding pharmacies - whichtypically mix drugs for individual prescriptions and are subjectto light federal government regulation. The practice has drawnprotests from opponents of the death penalty and advocates fordeath row inmates, who say the lack of regulation risks abotched execution.

Missouri announced earlier this month that it would searchfor a new drug for executions after it came under pressure fromdrug makers, especially in Europe, not to use the drug propofolin executions. A German maker of the drug, Fresenius Kabi, hadsuspended shipments to a U.S. distributor after some of the drugwas provided to Missouri for executions.

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