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Ohio can use compounding pharmacies for execution drugs

  |   Oct. 4, 2013 at 3:35 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Ohio can now use compounding pharmacies as a source of execution drugs, corrections officials said Friday.

The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation announced the policy change, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

Ohio uses pentobarbital for lethal injections combined with Midazolam, a sedative, and Hydromorphone, a strong opiate. The department said the drugs can now be acquired from a "manufacturer, distributor or compounding pharmacy."

Companies making pentobarbitol have become unwilling to supply it for executions. Ohio exhausted its supply in late September when Harry Mitts Jr. was executed.

The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists defines compounding as "customized preparation of a medicine that is not otherwise commercially available. These medications are prescribed by a physician, veterinarian or other prescribing practitioner, and compounded by a state-licensed pharmacist."

Mitts, who killed a neighbor's boyfriend and a Garfield Heights police officer in 1994, was the 52nd person to be put to death in Ohio since 1999. The state has used the penalty more frequently in recent years than any other outside the south.

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