Friday, January 28, 2011

Drug Manufacturer Objects to Drug's Use in Executions

Ohio Points Out Manufacturer's Drugs Used in Over 500 Assisted Suicides

Lundbeck, Inc. is objecting to Ohio's plan to use the drug pentobarbital for executions. Lundbeck manufactures the drug in the U.S.

"Lundbeck is dedicated to saving people's lives," a spokesperson told the Columbus Dispatch. "Use of our products to end lives contradicts everything we're in business to do."

A Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson said the state will not heed the company's warning and will use the new drug as planned.

The department pointed out that a federal appeals court affirmed Oklahoma's use of pentobarbital in its execution protocol in combination with two other drugs, last December. Ohio uses a single drug protocol-only a lethal dose of pentobarbital will be used for executions beginning in April.

Corrections personnel also noted that the drug was used in 200 legal, assisted suicides in Oregon from 1999 to 2010. Another drug, secobarbital, was used in the other 321 assisted deaths, according to the Dispatch. This point seems to contradict Lundbeck's assertion that their drug is dedicated to saving lives.

According to the Dispatch, there are two men scheduled for execution, one in February and one in March. There are 13 other capital murder cases across the state in which prisoners have exhausted their legal appeals and county prosecutors have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to set execution dates. Collectively, the 15 men awaiting execution were responsible for 25 murders. Their victims ranged in age from 3 to 80.

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