Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Drug Companies and the Death Penalty

The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty yesterday released a report entitled "Drug Companies and Their Role in Aiding Executions" and called upon the nation's manufacturers and distributors of lethal injection drugs to take steps to prevent their drugs from being used in executions conducted via lethal injection.

The report has two immediate goals: to convince pharmaceutical companies to speak out against the use of their drugs in executions and to take steps to prevent their products from falling into the hands of prison officials who oversee executions.

The report traces the history and present use of lethal injection drugs in executions, reports on what can go wrong during the lethal injection process and lists the companies that produce lethal injection drugs, their corporate officers and their contact information.

Already, one leading manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, Inc., which manufactures sodium thiopental, has issued a statement requesting "that this product not be used in capital punishment procedures."

The seven publicly-held companies targeted by NCADP include Abbott Laboratories, Inc., based in Abbott Park, Ill.; American Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc., based in Los Angeles; AmerisourceBergen, based in Chesterbrook, Pa.; Baxter International Inc, based in Deerfield, Ill.; Cardinal Health, based in Dublin, Ohio; Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, based in St. Davids, Penn; and Gensia Sicor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Irvine, Ca.

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