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Death row prisoners sue FDA for allowing unapproved execution drug to be imported

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d818 (Published 07 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d818
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The US Food and Drug Administration is being sued by six prisoners on death row to try to stop it from allowing thiopental sodium, the anaesthetic widely used in lethal injections in the United States, to be imported into the country.

The lawsuit, filed by the international business law firm Sidley Austin, accuses the FDA of violating federal law by allowing state correction agencies to bring in unapproved supplies of the drug.

The complaint states: “The law requires FDA to ensure that only safe, effective drugs are brought into …

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