Propofol use in execution stirs concern

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Associated Press

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 1:04 PM

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The potential use of propofol in a Missouri execution next month is raising concerns that the anti-death penalty European Union could limit export of the drug, endangering the supply of the vital anesthetic to thousands of American hospitals and clinics.

Convicted killer Allen Nicklasson is scheduled to die Oct. 23. The execution will be the first to use propofol.

Fifty million vials of propofol are administered annually in the U.S. Roughly 85 percent of the U.S. supply is made in Europe by the German company Fresenius Kabi.

The EU prohibits trade in goods which could be used for executions and is reviewing whether to add propofol to the regulation, making it subject to controls that could slow export to the U.S.

Fresenius Kabi has launched a website expressing its concerns.

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