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Pfizer Blocks Drugs From Being Used for Executions

  • VOA News

FILE - This May 27, 2008, file photo shows the State of Texas execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas.

FILE - This May 27, 2008, file photo shows the State of Texas execution chamber in Huntsville, Texas.

U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has become the last manufacturer to block the use of its drugs in the lethal injections.

Pfizer spokeswoman Rachel Hooper said Friday the drug maker already did not allow its medicines to be used in lethal injections, but added a new restriction that “enhances” the previous system.

The news about Pfizer’s decision was first reported Friday by the New York Times.

In recent years, some 20 global drug companies have blocked their drugs from being used as part of the death penalty.

But these drugs also have other medical uses, which can make it tricky to keep them from ending up being used in state prisons to carry out executions.

Pfizer's new restriction limits the sale of 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.

Capital punishment remains legal in a declining number of states, as just a handful continue to carry out executions. Other states that planned to do so are unable to, owing to court challenges, the ongoing shortage of lethal injection drugs or governors stepping in.

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