Ben Richmond believes the European Union deserves credit for driving pharmaceutical companies out of the lethal-injection drug market. For example, the American company Hospira announced that it would stop manufacturing sodium thiopental in 2011:
Without ruling out a change of heart in leadership at Hospira, who for their part said they never intended for their products to be used like that, one reason for this crackdown was that sodium thiopental manufacturing was moving from North Carolina to Italy, where it would fall under the jurisdiction of the EU’s “Torture Regulation.” The law “establishes specific trade arrangements covering certain types of equipment and products,” which could be used for torture, capital punishment, “and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in non-European Union (EU) countries.” To import sodium thiopental, Hospira would have to prove that it wouldn’t be used in capital punishment, which the company didn’t think was possible.
A similar case in the Show-Me State:
Missouri was planning on using the anesthetic propofol for a lethal injection for the first time, until the drug’s German maker, Fresenius Kabi, objected, claimed that doing so would lead to a disruption of the drug’s export to the United States. … Missouri’s governor noted that ultimately the American courts will determine whether or not we have the death penalty, not laws in Europe. However, those American courts may say that under European export laws, there is no constitutional way to keep the death penalty around.