The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

February 18, 2014

Okla. pharmacy won't give drug for Mo. execution

(Continued)

But in their lawsuit, Taylor's attorneys allege that Missouri turned to The Apothecary Shoppe to supply compounded pentobarbital because the drug's only licensed manufacturer refused to provide it for lethal injections.

Taylor's attorneys say the cloak of secrecy surrounding how Missouri obtains its execution drug and questions about loosely regulated compounding pharmacies raise concerns. The suit alleges that several recent executions in which compounded pentobarbital was used showed it would likely cause Taylor "severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain."

Execution drugs have become increasingly difficult to obtain because major drug makers stopped selling pharmaceuticals for use in the death penalty. Many states, like Missouri, have turned to compounding pharmacies, which manufacture drugs for individual clients.

Unlike major drug companies, compounding pharmacies are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Taylor's lawsuit also questioned whether the Tulsa pharmacy could legally produce and deliver compounded pentobarbital. It alleged the pharmacy was not registered as a drug manufacturer with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and violates federal law each time it delivers the drug across state lines to Missouri corrections officials.

Taylor is on death row for raping and killing 15-year-old Ann Harrison after abducting her from a Kansas City school bus stop in 1989. Another man also is on death row for the crime.

Taylor was hours away from execution in 2006 when the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay over concerns about whether the state's three-drug method could violate the constitutional guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment.

Missouri has executed three men in the past three months, the first three executions using pentobarbital. Missouri had previously used a three-drug execution protocol.

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Tim Talley reported from Oklahoma City. Associated Press writers Jim Suhr in St. Louis, and Erin Gartner and Andale Gross in Chicago also contributed to this report.

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