So enters Lundbeck Denmark and its pentobarbital, sold under the trade name “Nembutal”, a drug used in the treatment for epilepsy, to euthanize animals and now as the mean to execute in the US, the land of the free and home of the brave. Obviously Lundbeck did not originally intend to sell it, or any other of its products, to US departments of corrections for this purpose. Nonetheless it happened and Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas purchased it and used it to kill. The issue at stake is not about stopping the sale of Nembutal, but to restrict its distribution to ensure it reaches only the medical profession. It’s necessary to remind Lundbeck that there are ways of restricting its sales through several contractual and distribution options. So far Lundbeck has shown nothing but good intentions, its lack of response has killed 11 persons in the US; this, of course, in violation of the European standards on pharmaceutical ethics and to the dismay of a growing number of its shareholders.
How many more executions before Lundbeck implements one of the following options:
- use specialty pharmacy to distribute Nembutal in the US
- use a third party logistics company in the US and distribute Nembutal to select users through drop-ship distribution
Lundbeck’s current distribution system offers little control, if any, over the supply chain. It needs to identify and track the product to guarantee visibility of its final destination. There is a cost associated with the tagging system, but is this really too much when human lives are at stake?
Lundbeck disagrees with the use of Nembutal in US executions but does not want to take adequate measures to stop it from happening? Well, that is some strange ethic, folks! While its spokesperson insists they want to do ‘all they can’ to prevent this illegitimate use of their product, nothing has changed, except for a few letters to the states concerned.
Despite the mission described on its website, Lundbeck has certainly reached a milestone: the record of programmed US deaths induced by a European pharmaceutical laboratory.
One can only hope that the families of those executed, thanks to Lundbeck, will join forces and take Lundbeck to the European Court of Human Rights to get a clear and final resolution to this dramatic and scandalous involvement of a European laboratory in the death trade.
And there is a lot we can do to demand that Lundbeck takes appropriate measures, in case they have not understood or registered them when these were suggested to them. While the European Union is still dicking around the issue, many US states are stocking up and we must join forces to bring the European death trade to an end.
To be continued…