Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty Launch Vigil Protesting Pharmacy

The press release below was originally published by MADP on 2-3-14 and is reposted here with permission.

MADP Launches Vigil at Oklahoma Pharmacy Accused of Providing Lethal Injection Drugs

Kansas City, February 3—Today, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (MADP) is beginning a vigil at the Tulsa pharmacy, The Apothecary Shoppe—which several news sources have alleged provided lethal injection drugs to the state of Missouri—in hopes of urging them to not supply future execution doses.

“A pharmacy should be a place of healing, not death. We implore the Apothecary Shoppe to join us in upholding the sanctity of life for all people” said MADP vice-chair Cathleen Burnett.

The secrecy and lack of transparency surrounding Missouri’s execution protocols and procedures continues to deeply trouble MADP. It is unacceptable for departments of corrections to hide information from the courts, prisoners and the public about the drugs they will use in executions or to use drugs that do not come with assurances that they will work reliably and predictably.

Our understanding is that the pharmacy contracted by the Department of Corrections is a compounding pharmacy that will manufacture the pentobarbital for the purpose of carrying out executions. This is deeply troubling because the FDA does not regulate compounding pharmacies or review compounded drugs for safety or efficacy.

Because compounded drugs are made-to-order, each batch is unique, and you cannot generalize from one batch to another. If one batch of compounded drugs is potent and works well, that does not mean a different batch will meet the same standards. Compounded drugs have caused many severe safety problems in the last decade, including a recent contaminated batch of steroid injections that killed more than 50 people and sickened more than 700 others.

There is no way to guarantee that a drug from a compounding pharmacy is what it purports to be and is safe and effective.

If the Apothecary Shoppe is, in fact, providing the state of Missouri compounded lethal injection drugs, we implore them to stop. Our vigil will continue until the Apothecary Shoppe assures the citizens of Missouri they will no longer supply lethal injection drugs to the state.

“The difficulty the state of Missouri has had in obtaining lethal injection drugs points to the fact that there is no humane way to carry out an execution. We hope that doctors and pharmacist around the country will realize that America’s sense of justice has evolved beyond the death penalty and agree to stop participating in the process,” Burnett stated.

Source: National Coalition to End the Death Penalty