Groups urge APhA to ban participation in executions

March 27, 2014

A coalition of groups that includes the NAACP and Amnesty International is urging the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to ban its members from making compound drugs used in lethal-injection executions.

A coalition of groups that includes the NAACP and Amnesty International is urging the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) to ban its members from making compound drugs used in lethal-injection executions.

The groups sent a letter to APhA and attended this week’s APhA convention in Orlando, Fla.

“Electric chairs, gas chambers, hangings, and firing squads have been banned by almost all states, leaving lethal injection as the only method of carrying out executions. But lethal injection by its very nature requires medical professionals to be involved,” said Kaytee Riek, campaign manager for SumOfUs.org, organizer of the campaign.

“More recently, all major pharmaceutical companies have banned their drugs from being used. So States have been forced to turn to so-called ‘compounding pharmacists’ - who are not regulated by the FDA - to develop these deadly cocktails,” Riek said. “If the American Pharmacists Association would ban their members from participating in executions, the Association could help put a stop to the manufacturing and supplying of drugs used for lethal injections and help end the use of the death penalty in the U.S. once and for all.” 

An APhA spokeswoman, Michelle Spinnler, said APhA officials met with SumOfUs.org officials this week to hear the group’s concerns and to outline APhA’s policy development process. She said its unlikely APhA would adopt any statement at this year's meeting and probably would not consider any proposal until next year.