The drug company that makes the powerful sedative used in executions in many States is selling the product to another manufacturer, and says that the drug—pentobarbital—was never intended for executions.
Lundbeck Inc., a company based in Denmark, said a distribution system intended to keep the drug out of the hands of prisons will remain in place as Akorn Inc., located in Lake Forest, Ill., acquires the drug.
Lundbeck intended to sell off pentobarbital earlier but delayed the sale because of controversy over its use in executions. By retaining ownership of the product, the company could restrict its use for capital punishment, according to The Associated Press.
Europe and European companies have acted in recent years to prohibit the use of drugs for executions. Lundbeck, like other companies whose drugs took on an unintended role in U.S. executions, had asked U.S. prisons to stop using their product for capital punishment.
Last Tuesday, the European Union said it would place new restrictions on the sale of lethal injection drugs to countries that have yet to abolish capital punishment.