Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sounds logical: Bloomberg reports that Teva doesn't want its drugs used to kill people

Teva Pharmaceuticals reportedly plans to carefully control distribution of the anesthetic propofol to prevent the drug from being used in executions of U.S. prisoners, according to a London-based human rights group called Reprieve.

Sounds logical: Bloomberg reports that Teva doesn't want its drugs used to kill people

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 It sounds logical enough.

Pharmaceutical companies always say they are in the business of helping patients, so it's easy to understand Teva Pharmaceuticals' concern about the public relations aspect of one of its drugs being used by prison officials for the sake of capital punishment.

Teva is based in Israel, so there might be even greater historical concern.

Bloomberg News reported that Teva plans to carefully control distribution of the anesthetic propofol to prevent the drug from being used in executions of U.S. prisoners, according to a London-based human rights group called Reprieve.

Reprieve's web site (link here) indicates the group "delivers justice and saves lives, from death row to Guantánamo Bay."

Propofol is lethal in large doses and contributed to the death of singer Michael Jackson, Bloomberg reported (story link here). A shortage of other execution drugs prompted Missouri’s department of corrections to say in May it will use propofol in any upcoming lethal injections.

“Teva has shown that — like any responsible pharmaceutical company — it wishes to be in the business of saving lives, not ending them in executions,” Maya Foa, head of the Stop the Lethal Injection Project at Reprieve, said, according to Bloomberg. It also reported that Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley confirmed that the company is limiting the sale and distribution of this product to customers who agree to use best efforts not to sell or distribute to correctional facilities, in accordance with a request made by the company that manufactures the drug for Teva.

Teva's Americas headquarters is in North Wales, Montgomery County.

 

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About this blog
David Sell blogs about the region's pharmaceutical industry. Follow him on Facebook.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Reach David at dsell@phillynews.com.

David Sell
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