Pfizer blocks its drugs from use in lethal injections

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Pfizer To Block Use Of Drugs In Lethal Injections

NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc has taken steps to ensure that none of its products are used in lethal injections, the largest U.S. drugmaker said on Friday.

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"We are enforcing a distribution restriction for specific products that have been part of, or considered by some states for, their lethal injection protocols," the New York-based drugmaker said on its website. "Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment."

The move shuts off the last remaining open market source of drugs used in executions, following similar actions by more than 20 U.S. and European drugmakers, according to a report in the New York Times on Friday.

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Pfizer blocks its drugs from use in lethal injections
Dave Atwood, left, and Sophia Malik, right, both of Houston, hold photos of Napoleon Beazley as they protest his execution Tuesday, May 28, 2002, in Huntsville, Texas. Beazley, 25, was executed by lethal injection for the 1994 carjacking murder of 63-year-old John E. Luttig of Tyler, Texas. It was the 14th execution this year in Texas. (AP Photo/Brett Coomer)
Rena, left, and Ireland Beazley hold a photo of their son Napoleon Beazley at their home in Grapeland, Texas, Friday, May 31, 2002. Napoleon Beazley's death sentence for killing the father of a federal judge during a 1994 carjacking at age 17 stirred national debate over capital punishment for youths. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
Rena Beazley, left, and her husband, Ireland, from Grapeland, Texas, are shown in the audience during a news conference Thursday, May 23, 2002, in Austin, Texas. The two, parents of Texas death row inmate Napoleon Beazley, and clergy pleaded for his sentence to be commuted to life in prison. He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Tuesday. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

Mugshot of Cameron Todd Willingham

(Photo credit: Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

Judy Cavnar, of Ardmore, Okla., a cousin of executed Texas prison inmate Cameron Todd Willingham, displays a picture of him during a news conference Tuesday, May 2, 2006, in Austin, Texas. The case of a Willingham, who maintained his innocence until the end but was executed after he was convicted of an arson murder, is going before a new state commission required to look into allegations of forensic misconduct. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
Eugenia Willingham of Ardmore, Okla., right, wipes a tear as she speaks during a news conference Tuesday, May 2, 2006, in Austin, Texas. Willingham and other relatives of Cameron Todd Willingham recounted the final moments of Willingham's life and their unsuccessful attempts to block his execution. The New York-based Innocence Project submitted the case to the Texas Forensic Science Commission on Tuesday and also asked the panel to review arson convictions statewide. In the background, from left are Willingham's cousins, Pat Cox, and Judy Cavnar. Mrs. Willingham is his stepmother. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)
Death row inmate Troy Davis appears in this undated file photo provided by the Georgia Department of Corrections. (Georgia Department of Corrections/MCT via Getty Images)
Demonstrators gather in front of the White House in Washington as they hold a vigil before the scheduled execution of death row inmate Troy Davis, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis is facing lethal injection for killing an off-duty Georgia policeman in Savannah, a crime he and others have insisted for years that he did not commit. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
A man chants during a vigil for Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis In Jackson, Ga., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Davis is scheduled to die Wednesday for the killing off-duty Savannah officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Anne MacPhail pauses for a moment after learning at 10:55 p.m., on September 21, 2011, that the U.S. Supreme Court had denied a stay of execution for Troy Davis, who was convicted in the 1989 murder of her son Mark MacPhail. Davis was executed shortly after in Jackson, Georgia. (Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/MCT via Getty Images)

Mugshot of Kelly Renee Gissendaner

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The list of products includes the powerful anesthetic propofol, the drug that caused the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson. The other Pfizer products the drugmaker said it will block from use in executions are pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride, idazolam, hydromorphone, rocuronium bromide and vecuronium bromide.

Pfizer's distribution restriction limits the sale of the seven products to a select group of wholesalers, distributors, and direct purchasers under the condition that they will not resell these products to correctional institutions for use in lethal injections, the company said.

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Pfizer said it offers the products because they save or improve lives, and markets them solely for use as indicated in the product labeling.

(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Additional reporting by Eric Walsh in Washington; Editing by Eric Beech and James Dalgleish)


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