Execution Drug May Not be Available in Missouri

Earlier this year Missouri changed its protocol to use the drug propofol as its lethal injection drug. This week the only domestic supplier of the painkiller moved to prevent its use for executions.

The company, Fresenius Kabi, has sent a letter to health care providers to inform them that the company would only sell the drug propofol to approved wholesalers and distributors that refused to sell the drug to prisons and retail pharmacies. The company only wants the drug supplied to hospitals, clinics and health care facilities that will use it for medically necessary purposes within their facilities.

It is unclear if Missouri has any propofol on hand to use for executions. The Supreme Court of Missouri has refused to set any execution dates until a pending lawsuit by 21 men on death row challenging the constitutionality of the use of propofol is resolved.

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