MINISTER FRATTINI ACTS TO STOP PENTOTAL PRODUCED IN ITALY FROM ENDING UP IN LETHAL INJECTION
December 13, 2010: Foreign Minister Franco Frattini today met with members from Hands Off Cain and the SantāEgidio Community to find a solution, with respect to free trade, to prevent pentotal produced in Italy for ending up, directly or indirectly, in jails in the United States and other countries where lethal injection is used.
Minister Frattini shared the concern of the delegation that comprised Radical Parliamentarian Elisabetta Zamparutti, Hands Off Cain Secretary Sergio DāElia and SantāEgidio Community spokesperson Mario Marazziti. He assured them that this issue would be quickly resolved, also involving the Health and Production Activities Ministers. For this purpose, Frattini told the Hands Off Cain representatives that his intention meet in the next few days with the heads of pharmaceutical company Hospira.
Hospira, based in Liscate (Milan), was commissioned by the American headquarters to produce the drug that in January will begin to expire in the United States.
Minister Frattini also announced the favourable reaction to the motion presented to the Chamber by Elisabetta Zamparutti and signed by representatives of all political groups. The motion committed the Government to guaranteeing that the production and sale overseas of Sodium Thiopental by Hospira in Liscate is only authorized for medical reasons and on the condition that drugs produced in Italy are not used for lethal injection.
Frattini lastly told the Hands Off Cain and SaintāEdigio members of wanting to raise the question also at the European level, so that the control of the exportation of Pentotal is shared by members of European Union member countries, in line with national community and community norms that prohibits the practice of the death penalty.
A control on the foreign sale of Sodium Thiopental was recently set by the British Government, after the humanitarian organisation Reprieve documented how the anesthetic exported by the United Kingdom was used in October to kill a death row prisoner in Arizona. (Sources: HOC, 13/12/2010)