COLUMBUS, Ohio —
A plan by Georgia to use a similar specialty batch of pentobarbital has been put on hold by a lawsuit challenging the state prison agency’s refusal to identify the compounding pharmacy that provided the drug. The lawsuit also questions the drug’s safety and effectiveness.
In Ohio, the state’s policy calls for the prison system to obtain compounded pentobarbital as a first choice, and then to use a backup method of a sedative and painkiller if the compounded drug can’t be found. The state has chosen the backup method in the past two scheduled executions, although only one was carried out.
The American Medical Association prohibits members from taking action that could cause the death of a condemned inmate, although the association — like the pharmacists’ group — is not a regulatory board with authority over licensing. The American Board of Anesthesiology, however, said anesthesiologists cannot participate in executions if they want board certification.
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