Pfizer says it’s blocking use of drugs for lethal injections

Pfizer says it’s blocking use of its drugs for lethal injections, an announcement with limited immediate impact that nonetheless means all federally-approved drugmakers whose medications could be used for executions have now put them off limits.

The company’s move officially closes off all FDA-regulated drugs from executions.

The position by the company, the world’s second-largest drugmaker in terms of revenue, was made public on its website Friday.

The company’s action follows Pfizer’s $15.23 billion purchase of Lake Forest, Illinois-based Hospira last year. Hospira had previously prohibited the use of its drugs in capital punishment.

Pfizer’s announcement is unlikely to have much effect on executions, which have slowed in recent years as states have struggled to find drugs or moved to eliminate the death penalty altogether.

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