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Last US manufacturer of drug used in executions stops production

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d590 (Published 27 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d590
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The only US manufacturer of sodium thiopental, the anaesthetic widely used in the execution of death row prisoners in the US, has decided to pull out of the market amid European opposition to the death penalty.

Hospira, which ceased manufacture of the drug in the US, citing unspecified problems with its raw materials supplier, had been about to move production to its factory in Italy. But the Italian government said it would permit the company to make the drug there only if it could guarantee that it would be used only as a mainstream anaesthetic and not for …

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