Supply issues surrounding an anesthesia drug used by several states in lethal injection executions may have the effect of delaying executions. The drug, sodium thiopental, which is manufactured by Hospira, Inc., is in short supply. The drug is used as an anesthetic by hospitals. Hospira does not support the use of this drug in executions. However, it is common knowledge that this drug is used in lethal injection executions. In addition to executions, elective surgeries are being delayed by shortages of this drug. Hospira is blaming the shortages on an ingredient that is supplied by a third party. The shortages are due to the third party. Hospira expects to solve the supply issues by early 2011.
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