Makers of Ohio death drugs oppose their use in executions

The Columbus Dispatch - April 2019

By Marty Schladen at the Columbus Dispatch

Several companies that manufacture drugs used in the Ohio death penalty have spoken out in opposition to the misuse of their products in executions, raising more questions about whether the state has been obtaining them through subterfuge.

These companies include New Jersey-based Hikma and Pfizer, both of whom have publicly declared that they won’t allow their products to be used in executions. “Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve,” spokesman Steven Danehy said in an email. “We strongly object to the use of any of our products in the lethal injection process for capital punishment.”

“Since 2016, we have informed the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on multiple occasions that Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment. We asked them to return any Hospira or Pfizer manufactured Restricted Product in their possession and provided them with procedures to follow to return for a full refund.”

Governor DeWine this year paused upcoming executions after a federal judge sitting in Dayton determined that midazolam didn’t have the pain-killing properties that supporters claimed. The judge also ruled that without such analgesic properties, injection of potassium chloride “would feel as though fire was being poured” into a prisoner’s veins.

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