Drug Shortage May Force Missouri to End Death Penalty

Carol Daniel

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The sole U.S. company that produces one of the lethal drugs used in executions says it’s discontinuing production at it’s plant in Italy.

Lake Forest Illinois based Hospira said it’s plant in Italy was the only viable place where the company could produce Sodium Thiopental.

Friday Hospira said they could not give Italian authorities a guarantee that the drug wouldn’t be used in executions.

What does that mean for Missouri?

“What it changes for the state of Missouri is that they’re not going to be able to get anymore of this drug,” said Tony Rothert, Legal Director of the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.

Missouri’s current supply of Sodium Thiopental is set to expire March 1st.

The FDA has reportedly helped other states facing a similar problem.

California and Arizona are allowed to import the drug from Britain. However that is something Rothert says is surprising and not wise given the federal law banning importation of drugs from a foreign country.

The state of Missouri is quickly find itself among a handful of states that still preform the death penalty.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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