Big Pharma should be worried about upcoming executions

Texas gives Virginia lethal drug for execution next week
[Via  | Local News – KETV Home]

Texas prison officials are helping Virginia carry out a scheduled execution next week by providing that state with the lethal drug phenobarbital that corrections agencies nationwide have had difficulty obtaining.
The disclosure, confirmed Friday by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, has surfaced in court documents in an Oklahoma death penalty case.
Lawyers for Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossi also said in a federal court filing Thursday that Texas is “compounding or producing phenobarbital within its department for use in executions.”
Texas prisons spokesman Jason Clark said the Texas agency gave Virginia three vials of the drug, but said the state does not have a license to manufacture its own pharmaceuticals. He said Virginia provided Texas with a backup phenobarbital supply in 2013.


Interstate transfer of pharmaceutical drugs without a license to manufacture from either the relevant pharmaceutical company or the FDA.

So can California now make and sell Daraprim for pennies rather than the  price gouging $750 the pharma company wanted to charge? How about new cancer drugs costing over $100,000?

If Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and others can ignore the FDA and pharmaceutical companies to kill people, why can’t California, Washington, Oregon or others do the same thing to save their lives?

This could be game changing for Big Pharma if states can make their own drugs whenever they want to, without regard to the FDA or even the input of the pharmaceutical company that owns the rights to manufacture a drug.

The barbiturate drugs that sedate the person so they cannot feel the intense pain of the following drugs that kill them have been harder to get for executions. There is only one injectable form of phenobarbital approved to use in the US by the FDA and its maker refuses to sell it for human executions.

So the states wishing to kill people tried other approaches, which usually ended horribly. They need the barbiturates.

Texas started running out of phenobarbital a couple of years ago. So now it makes its own, apparently without FDA oversight. We know what can happen when drugs are made without FDA approval. Not good.

But now, what happens if California decides that it should make a prescription drug needed by its inhabitants? Why should it be barred from doing this when Texas is doing the same thing?

Why should California be prohibited from saving people while Texas is permitted to kill them? 

Going to be a great question to answer in court. I want to see people defend the ability of states to do an end run around the FDA and Big Pharma in order to kill people while saying that doing the same thing to save people should not be allowed.

Either you can do both or you can do neither. Pharma should be worried about the possible result. Especially, as we see here, we have interstate transport of the drug.

Because if the states get in the business of making drugs because they want to, well, that changes everything with respect to healthcare pricing. 

Image: Arallyn!