Akorn latest to reject use of its drugs for lethal injection
- Akorn has joined other drug makers, including Hospira, Lundbeck and Fresenius Kabi, in telling prisons that its drugs (midazolam and hydromorphone) are not available for use as part of executions.
- Akorn was targeted by Reprieve, an advocacy group in the U.K., which encouraged the company to not use its drugs to facilitate executions, but rather for therapeutic uses.
- One company that Reprieve has not been able to convince is Mylan Labs, which says that its drug, rocuronium bromide is not distributed directly to prisons. Nonetheless, this drug is useful for lethal injections and Mylan has not explicitly forbidden its use for this purpose.
For some time, Reprieve and other anti-execution advocates and organizations have been applying pressure on the drug makers that manufacture drugs used in lethal injections. One strategy that they have used is contacting shareholders and encouraging them to sell shares of stock until the companies agree to forbid use of their drugs for executions.
While these steps have been effective in many ways, some states, such as Georgia are seeking alternative options, including compounding pharmacies. Despite their best efforts, however, there are instances in which planned executions have been delayed.