Lethal injection room in a prison in New Mexico (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ken Piorkowski) - Credit: Lethal injection room in a prison in New Mexico (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Ken Piorkowski)
Dutch pharma firm reprimanded for drug used in U.S. executions
The Dutch branch of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reprimanded pharmaceutical company Mylan for doing to little to prevent their drugs being used in executions in the United States, the Volkskrant reports. The OECD reprimanded Mylan at the insistence of death penalty lawyer Bart Staperd. The pharmaceutical company now has to update its sales policy and make sure that their products are not used in executions. Mylan is originally an American company, but is established in the Netherlands for tax reasons. It therefore has to comply with Dutch human rights laws and provisions. The drug involved is muscle relaxant rocuronium bromide. In the United States it is used as part of the cocktail given to death penalty prisoners at their execution. Mylan initially defended itself by claiming that they do not always have control over the distribution of the drug. They sell rocuronium bromide wholesale to American hospitals, to be sued for anesthesia in medical treatments. It is not directly supplied to prisons. The OECD does not find that excuse acceptable, and instructed Mylan to better monitor the trade of the drug, even after they sold it. The company now promised to put more effort into monitoring where the drug ends up.