Pharmacists adopt anti-Death Penalty stance

By Finn Bunting

The American Pharmacists Association has voted to actively discourage members from supplying lethal injection drugs - further increasing the pressure on states that support the death penalty.

The decision was made at the APhA annual meeting, held in San Diego on Monday, which represents some 62,000 members. 

In a statement, the APhA said, "The American Pharmacists Association discourages pharmacist participation in executions on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.”

Prison officials turned to compounding pharmacies to provide them with the drug cocktail required to execute prisoners following the pharmaceutical industry’s withdrawal of the supply of lethal injection drugs. 

These made-to-measure drugs have resulted in some botched executions in recents years. 

The APhA has joined the equivalent doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses associations in having ethics codes that advise or restrict member participation in executions.

“Now there is unanimity among all health professions in the United States who represent anybody who might be asked to be involved in this process,” Association member Bill Fassett said.