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Calif. Receives Major Shipment Of Drug For Executions

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — While many states are running short of a drug necessary to carry out executions, California just received a major shipment.

California prison officials said Friday they received 514.5 grams, or a little more than a pound, of sodium thiopental, the first of three drugs administered during a lethal injection to knock out an inmate.

The state was forced to call off its first execution in more than five years in September, in part, because its entire stock of the drug had expired.

The state paid $36,415 to an overseas company to purchase the drug made by Archimedes Pharma of Great Britain, after the sole U.S. manufacturer stopped delivering sodium thiopental.

On Friday, Hospira Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill. said it was halting production of the sodium thiopental, further exacerbating the drug shortage in the United States.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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