February 4, 2011
In an earlier post I reported that the FDA was to test a drug, sodium thiopental, imported for use in executions.
Some weeks later, according to the Wall Street Journal, the agency said that it was “charged by Congress with protecting the public health …… Reviewing substances imported or used for the purpose of state-authorized lethal injection clearly falls outside of FDA’s explicit public health role.”
The agency noted it would permit importation of the drug but would not vet or vouch for the “safety, effectiveness, purity, or any other characteristics.”
Now there is another twist to the tale. A group of death row inmates have filed suit against the FDA, claiming it is in breach of the law in allowing the importation of the drug that was not reviewed for safety or efficacy. According to their lawyer, the purpose of the suit is to prevent “inhumane” executions.
(There are other kinds?)
Thankfully, the European Medicines Agency is spared this particular dilemma.Author : Jim Murray