That's the title of a report posted by Time magazine. It's by Josh Sanburn, and subtitled, "After lobbying by human rights groups, European drug companies are increasingly unwilling to supply U.S. states with lethal medicine."
In early 2011, Danish drug maker Lundbeck, which manufactures pentobarbital (sold under the name Nembutal), discovered that U.S. states were using its product in lethal injections. The complex international distribution networks of pharmaceuticals often make it difficult for manufacturers to know exactly where their products end up. But once pentobarbital’s use in U.S. executions came to light, many in Denmark were upset that medicine made in a country that abolished the death penalty decades ago was being used for ending lives rather than saving them.
By spring 2011, Danish newspapers were regularly publishing stories about pentobarbital’s use as several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and U.K.-based Reprieve, issued press releases to highlight each new execution that used drugs made by Lundbeck. In June 2011, Dr. David Nicholl – a neurologist and human rights activist – wrote an open letter to Ulf Wiinberg, the chief executive of Lundbeck. The letter, signed by more than 60 other doctors and academics urging the company to halt its U.S. supply, was published in the medical journal The Lancet.
“As clinicians and prescribers of Lundbeck’s products, we are appalled at the inaction of Lundbeck to prevent the supply of their drug, Nembutal (pentobarbital), for use in executions in the USA,” the letter stated. “Pentobarbital is rapidly proving to be the drug of choice for US executions. Lundbeck should restrict distribution of pentobarbital to legitimate users … but not to executioners.”
Three weeks later, Lundbeck said it would no longer allow the drug to be used in U.S. executions and began reviewing all orders of the drug and denying U.S. prisons looking to order it. Now, states like Texas, Georgia and Missouri are grappling with how to continue their planned executions without their go-to drug.
Earlier coverage of Texas' expiring stock of pentobarbital begins at the link.
ProPublica recently published an excellent recap on national and state lethal injection issues.