How the use of Propofol in executions would impact patient safety in the U.S.
We understand that several states in the US are considering using Propofol for lethal injections. Missouri intended to employ a Propofol-based injection, but has recently announced its decision not to use Propofol in executions. It is unclear whether other US states will follow Missouri’s example.
Propofol is one of the world’s most widely used anesthetics and plays a vital role in patient care. Its use in executions – regardless of its source – could lead to sanctions by the European Union (EU) that would threaten the U.S. supply of this indispensable drug. By far the largest share of Propofol available to U.S. health care facilities is manufactured in Europe. EU export restrictions would therefore severely restrict U.S. access to the drug, potentially putting millions of patients at risk. For this reason, medical professionals oppose the use of Propofol in lethal injection.
Fresenius Kabi is doing its utmost to help ensure the safety and availability of Propofol for patients and those who care for them. In line with its mission “caring for life” Fresenius Kabi, as the largest provider of Propofol in the U.S., is committed to ensuring Propofol is only used for its intended and clinically approved medical purposes. Clearly the use of Propofol for lethal injections is contrary to our mission and not in line with FDA approved indications for Propofol. Therefore, Fresenius Kabi and other manufacturers have imposed distribution controls to protect the U.S. supply of this medically necessary drug.