Hospira Position on Use of Our Products in Lethal Injections
Hospira makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve, and, therefore, we have always publicly objected to the use of any of our products in capital punishment.
We have spent considerable time reviewing how and where we distribute our products. In a change that is consistent with our goal of providing our customers uninhibited access to our products while restricting distribution for unintended uses, Hospira has implemented a restricted distribution system under which Hospira and its distributors have ceased the direct sale to U.S. prison hospitals of products, specifically pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride and propofol, that have been part of some states’ lethal injection protocols. Recently, Hospira has learned that several states are considering adding midazolam, hydromorphone, rocuronium bromide and vecuronium bromide to their lethal injection protocols. In light of this information, Hospira will be notifying our distributors and amending our contracts to reflect that these four additional products will be added to the restricted distribution system.
Hospira's highest priority remains to provide unencumbered access to our medications for critically ill patients who rely on them every day. We continue to believe that efforts to influence policy on capital punishment are best directed at legislators who have the authority and ability to establish policy.
About these products:
Propofol, pancuronium bromide, midazolam, hydromorphone, rocuronium bromide, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride are FDA-approved, medically necessary drugs administered by licensed medical professionals, thousands of times a day, in efforts to treat illness or save the lives of patients in hospitals around the world. They are well established within the medical community and continue to serve important needs in surgical procedures and other treatments.
Hospira offers these products because they save or improve lives, and markets them solely for use as indicated in the product labeling.
In the United States, these products are distributed through a complex, vast supply chain that is comprised of hundreds of primary and secondary distributors, the latter of which specialize in delivering product to the smallest and most remote clinics, in order that the medicines reach patients in need. Our updated distribution plan, which puts measures in place to restrict the sale of these seven products for unintended uses, simply takes our publicly stated position against improper use of our products one step further, and, most importantly, doesn't stand in the way of patient access to these critical medications.