Pentobarbital Manufacturer Says Drug is Not Safe for Lethal Injections

A split Florida supreme court has ordered a hearing on a new drug to be used as part of the lethal injection cocktail for convicted killer Manuel Valle, according to a Palm Beach Post report.

Department of Corrections officials in June replaced the anesthetic sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs used in lethal injections, with pentobarbital sodium. The manufacturer of sodium thiopental stopped making the drug early this year, part of a nationwide drug shortage that is affecting hospitals as well as correctional facilities.

Lundbeck, the Danish manufacturer that produces pentobarbital, announced the drug is untested and unsafe for use in lethal injections. The company has since stopped selling the drug to those who intend to resell it for lethal injections. The drug is not FDA-approved as an anesthetic, thought it has been used in at least 15 executions in other states.

Read the Palm Beach Post report on lethal injections.

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