Ohio names replacement drug for executions

Ohio has chosen pentobarbital to replace sodium thiopental for use in death penalty executions. The move by prison officials follows the announcement last week that Hospira will no longer make Pentothal, the anesthetic of choice by state penal systems.

The Buckeye State will use a single dose of the barbiturate, which it says is widely available and manufactured in the U.S. Although some states use the single-dose method, most combine the anesthetic with other drugs.

The state of Oklahoma has used pentobarbital in three executions, according to the announcement. 

Hospira joins Teva in recently shutting down anesthetic drug products. Hospira blames its inability to finalize a long-term deal with a third-party API supplier after its previous source left the market, in addition to wrangling with the government in Italy, where it would have made the drug. Teva announced that it would cease making propofol last May, saying the drug is difficult to make and barely profitable.

- here's the Ohio announcement