Woodlands Pharmacy Wants Lethal Injection Drugs Back

It's one thing to be the people that make the drugs used in lethal injections, but it's a horse of a different color for other people to know about it.

At least that's what Hair Balls gathers from the reaction of the head of the Woodlands Compounding Pharmacy after it was revealed that his company was the one supplying the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with the drugs required for lethal injections.

"It was my belief that this information would be kept on the 'down low' and that it was unlikely that it would be discovered that my pharmacy provided these drugs," Jasper Lovoi said in a letter, according to Reuters. He demanded that the state "immediately return the vials of compounded pentobarbital."

Like other death penalty states, Texas has found it increasingly difficult to get ahold of the drugs required to actually execute death row inmates. Many drug companies have stopped making and/or selling the drugs, which makes sense since they'd probably rather be associated with Viagra than with lethal injections, publicity-wise. First the Texas Department of Criminal Justice people switched to pentobarbital when the previous cocktail of drugs ran out. When the pentobarbital was getting close to the expiration date, they turned to this Woodlands company, which was seemingly okay with compounding the drugs as long as no one knew about it.

But three death row inmates objected to the compounded drugs and filed a lawsuit last week, and now Lovoi, the owner of the company, is so not on board with this. He's asked that the drugs be returned, but the state totally shot down that request. The state says they obtained the drugs legally and they're keeping them. (Maybe because once they run out of pentobarbital, state officials will have to look around and figure out what other "substance or substances in a lethal quantity sufficient to cause death and until such convict is dead" to use.)

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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray