The three-drug “cocktail” of drugs necessary to execute an inmate in Virginia via lethal injection, costs 63 times last year’s “going price”.  The Virginia lethal injection protocol requires three components:  pentobarbital or midazolam (sedatives), followed by rocuronium bromide to end breathing, and potassium chloride to stop the heart.  Virginia, and other states, continues the fight to obtain these drugs.  Pharmaceutical companies block their sale for use in executions for fear they will be publicly accused of medical ethics violations.  In contrast, compounding pharmacies can make the make and sell these drugs with their identities kept from the public.  $66,000 is the price Virginia recently paid a compounding pharmacy for enough drugs for two executions.  Costs for these drugs have not only increased in Virginia but nationwide.  Why?  Death penalty opponents threatened to “shame” pharmaceutical companies that supply these drugs. As a result, the law of supply and demand kicks in and prices go up.  Link to Article

Article referenced was published by:  Modern Healthcare: Associated Press,  December 12, 2016



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