Drug shortages are making it increasingly difficult for the U.S. to execute inmates via lethal injection. When the sole U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental halted production of a vital part of the lethal three-drug cocktail. They later announced that they were no longer going to produce the drug – thus prompting a number of death penalty states to look overseas.
When the lawsuit of a condemned inmate in Georgia drew attention to the fact that sodium thiopental was being sourced from overseas suppliers, the DEA got involved; they seized Georgia’s supply and later took Kentucky’s and Tennessee’s.
Now, to add insult to injury Kayem Pharmaceuticals, a Mumbai-based company that had previously supplied sodium thiopental to the United States, has stated that they would no longer be shipping the drug stateside.
They explained on their website:
In view of the sensitivity involved with sale of our Thiopental Sodium to various Jails/Prisons in USA and as alleged to be used for the purpose of Lethal Injection, we voluntary declare that we as Indian Pharma Dealer who cherish the Ethos of Hinduism ( A believer even in non-livings as the creation of God) refrain ourselves in selling this drug where the purpose is purely for Lethal Injection and its misuse.
While it seems unlikely that the drug shortage will halt executions indefinitely (Texas has already switched to phenobarbital as a substitute and Mississippi and Arizona may follow suit), it definitely looks set to cause some delays. [CBS]