Even the Pfizer pharmaceutical company has added itself to the list of drug manufacturers who refuse to sell products used for lethal injections in the United States. It decided that being associated with executioners is not the best brand image for a medical company, as Big Pharma has gradually taken a pass on the U.S. death industry.
“Pfizer makes its products to enhance and save the lives of the patients we serve,” Pfizer said in its press release this week. “Consistent with these values, Pfizer strongly objects to the use of its products as lethal injections for capital punishment.”
Before Pfizer, more than 25 other American and European drug manufacturers had already blocked the sale of drugs to states for use in executions. But Pfizer is the largest and therefore influential, and its decision will set a new standard for the global industry.
“With Pfizer’s announcement, all FDA-approved (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) manufacturers of any potential execution drug have now blocked their sale for this purpose,” Maya Foa, director of the death penalty unit for the London human rights group Reprieve, told The New York Times. “Executing states must now go underground if they want to get hold of medicines for use in lethal injection.”