ARKANSAS (USA): LETHAL INJECTION DRUG LIKELY FROM PFIZER SUBSIDIARY
July 25, 2016: Arkansas' secrecy laws didn't keep photos of a drug used in the state's lethal injection protocol from offering some inadvertent transparency. A Pfizer subsidiary is now thought to be the provider, despite the company's prior statements to the contrary.
The revelation came on Monday following an investigation by the Associated Press into redacted photos it had obtained from the Arkansas Department of Correction. The label for vecuronium bromide matched those sent to the National Institutes of Health by Hospira, a company that the global pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer bought last year.
While AP obtained the purchase orders for the drug, the name of the 3rd party that sold the drug to the Corrections Department was redacted in order to comply with the state's secrecy laws.
In March, Pfizer announced that it would not sell drugs for use in executions. "Pfizer will consistently monitor the distribution of these 7 products, act upon findings that reveal noncompliance, and modify policies when necessary to remain consistent with our stated position against the improper use of our products in lethal injections," the statement continued. Pfizer spokeswoman Rachel Hooper said the company had restrictions in place to prevent the unauthorized use of its drugs, writing "We have implemented a comprehensive strategy and enhanced restricted distribution protocols for a select group of products to help combat their unauthorized use for capital punishment," according to AP. "Pfizer is currently communicating with states to remind them of our policy," she added. Hooper did not address whether the company was aware of the sale of the paralytic drug to Arkansas' Department of Correction. (Source: Associated Press, rt.com, 25/07/2016)