The American Pharmacists Association voted to oppose participation in executions, declaring that helping put prisoners to death violates the goals and oath of the profession, reported NBC News. The move comes a week after the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists adopted a similar stance.
Neither policy is binding, but they could dissuade specialty pharmacists — now the only source for lethal injections in many states — from selling their products to prisons for executions.
"It adds to the difficulty," said Kent Scheidegger, legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports capital punishment. "It's unfortunate that groups such as this would allow themselves to be dragged into a political dispute."
The big manufacturers of the chemicals that were used in executions for years have stopped selling their wares to correctional systems under pressure from anti-death penalty activists.
That has forced states to turn to compounding pharmacies for specialty orders — but their products are not FDA-approved and critics have expressed concern about the sterility and quality of the drugs.
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