Teva doesn't want its drugs used to kill people

Anesthesiology expert Dr. Steven Shafer, left, places a bottle of propofol into an empty saline bag as he demonstrates the use of propofol during Dr. Conrad Murray's 2011 involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of Michael Jackson. (Associated Press)

Teva doesn't want its drugs used to kill people


It sounds logical enough.

Bloomberg News reported that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., 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 (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.