Texas Squares Off with FDA Over Execution Drug

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice wants a federal judge to take action over a shipment of a drug used in executions–which has been held up at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport for much of the last two years.

The questions swirl around whether or not the drug can be imported in to the United States for use in executions under Food and Drug Administration rules and regulations.

“Executing prisoners is not an approved medical purpose–so, when Texas tried to bring the drugs in to the country, that violated federal law” said Robert Dunham at the Death Penalty Information Center, who believes the guidelines are very clear.

“There is no approved purpose for sodium thionpental–so, it’s a drug that can not be imported” Dunham said.

About one-thousand vials of the drug remain tied up in red tape. Dunham said his group is unsure of exactly where the drug came from.

“We suspect it’s from compounding pharmacies… which are small pharmacies that produce small batches… individualized batches of designer medicines” Dunham said.


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