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Update: Execution Drug Shortage may be Over

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) - The drug that states are increasingly counting on to replace a sedative used in executions shares several drawbacks with the one that's no longer readily available.

But there's one key difference: Experts say there's plenty of the replacement - a drug called pentobarbital. And it's not likely the lone manufacturer will touch off a supply crisis by abruptly halting production.

That's what happened when Hospira Inc. said in January it would not longer make sodium thiopental. The move sent most of the nation's 35 death penalty states scrambling for an alternative.

Lundbeck Inc. said there is no pentobarbital shortage in sight, and an independent firm showed the drug's sales have steadily increased since 2005.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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