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Four Medical Firms Won't Sell Equipment For Lethal Injections

Four medical equipment manufacturing companies are refusing to sell their equipment for use in lethal injection, The Intercept reports. Similar restrictions by manufacturers have limited access to drugs. The four companies that have raised objections are Baxter International Inc., B. Braun Medical Inc., Fresenius Kabi, and Johnson & Johnson. The companies said that the use of their equipment in executions contradicts their values. Fresenius Kabi, a German company that specializes in IV devices, said it would seize its products from corrections departments if it became aware of their use in lethal injection. Baxter International, a health care company based in Illinois, confirmed that a 2017 statement opposing the use of its products in lethal injection applied to medical equipment as well as drugs.

Because many states have enacted laws that allow them to conceal the provenance of the equipment employed in executions, it’s unclear whether prison officials are using products from any of the four companies. To ensure their products don’t end up in the wrong hands, some medical equipment manufacturers have provisions in their contracts with distributors banning sales for executions. It appears that wholesalers may have previously interpreted restrictions more narrowly and applied them solely to drugs, not equipment. The Intercept asked a dozen corrections departments that have executed people since 2015 to provide details of the equipment they used and respond to manufacturers’ stance against using their products. The corrections departments either declined to comment, often pointing to secrecy laws, or did not answer. Manufacturers will likely face an uphill battle in determining out whether their supplies are being used in executions. Unlike controlled substances, once products such as syringes and IV tubing have been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, they’re not closely tracked.


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