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State AGs to Holder: Appeal Beaty v. FDA

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Fifteen state attorneys general have signed this letter to US AG Eric Holder, asking him to appeal the atrocious decision of the US District Court in DC in Beaty v. FDA.  This suit is an attempt to use the drug importation provisions of the Food, Drug,and Cosmetic Act, of all things, to try to choke off the supply of drugs for lethal injection.  This suit is focused particularly on thiopental.  See prior post.  The purpose of the FDCA is, of course, to ensure that medical patients have drugs that are safe and effective for medical treatment.  The FDA has long taken the position, correctly IMHO, that the Act has no application to lethal injection. See Heckler v. Chaney, 470 U.S. 821 (1985).  In this context, "safe" and "effective" are mutually exclusive.

The signers are the attorneys general of Oklahoma, South Dakota, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has a substantial stock of the thiopental at issue in the suit and was depending on it for its ability to carry out executions.  The Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, is not among the signatories on the letter.  Update:  See subsequent post of May 25.  California has since joined the letter.

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