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Maker of anesthetic used in executions is discontinuing drug

Author: Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, Published on: 22 January 2011

The sole U.S. maker of the anesthetic used in executions announced Friday it would stop manufacturing sodium thiopental to prevent its product from being used to put prisoners to death. Discontinuance of the drug that has been in short supply nationwide for the past year portends long-term complications for death penalty states...Hospira Inc...stopped making its brand of sodium thiopental, Pentothal, at a North Carolina plant early last year because of an unspecified raw material supply problem. When Hospira attempted to move production to a factory in Liscate, Italy, near Milan, Italian authorities demanded assurances that the drug wouldn't end up in the hands of executioners. Hospira spokesman Dan Rosenberg said company officers couldn't make that guarantee and decided instead to "exit the sodium thiopental market."

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Related companies: Hospira