Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Like a junkie, Missouri is desperate for a fix

After rushing to execute a prisoner before his final appeal was heard, the State of Missouri now finds itself without a supplier for its lethal cocktail. It appears that the supplier of last resort for Missouri, The Apothecary Shoppe, a compounding pharmacy in Tulsa, Oklahoma, doesn't want the notoriety of supplying drugs for executions.

I guess they would also rather not address the issue of how supplying drugs for an execution doesn't violate the oath the pharmacists recited when they received their licenses.

Just a quick note, here is a link to The Apothecary Shoppe's website. You might want to hit the mute button so you don't have to listen to the young lady drone on and on about the pharmacy's services. Strange, though, that she doesn't mention they compound the drug used by Missouri to kill inmates.

Missouri now finds itself without any drugs to carry out their next scheduled execution on February 26 thanks to a lawsuit filed by Michael Taylor, the inmate scheduled to be killed. As a result of the lawsuit, The Apothecary Shoppe, while denying all allegations in the suit, has said it will no longer provide Missouri with pentobarbital.

As a refresher, a compounding pharmacy is a pharmacy that makes its own drugs. Pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreen's and other national chains just move pills from one container to another. The drugs supplied at "regular" pharmacies have all been subjected to testing from federal regulators and have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for certain applications. The drugs made at compounding pharmacies aren't subject to federal regulation. There is no way to determine that the drug is what the compounding pharmacy says it is. There is no way to determine how effectively it does what it is advertised to do.

Compounding pharmacies are supposed to be licensed and regulated by the states. But The Apothecary Shoppe isn't licensed in Missouri - it's licensed in Oklahoma. Under Missouri law, selling a drug without a license is a felony offense with a possible sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Click here for St. Louis Public Radio's investigation into Missouri's acquisition of pentobarbital.

And that creates a myriad of problems such as the possibly illegal transport of medications across state lines. According to George Lombardi, head of the Missouri Department of Corrections, he sent an employee to Tulsa with thousands of dollars in cash to purchase drugs to be used in an execution.

This is what we have become with the death penalty. States have enacted laws to shield the names of their drug suppliers from the public. Public employees are crossing state lines with thousands of dollars in cash to purchase drugs on what might appear to be a black market. States are using drugs that have never been tested and that aren't subject to federal regulation to murder inmates. So much for the rule of law.


Lee said...

Paul, wasn't there a war on drugs that the states were supposed to be waging?

The Bail Bond Expert said...

I just came across the blog, I really liked the blog. Keep posting.......