ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The planned use of a common anesthetic in a Missouri execution next month is raising concerns that the anti-death penalty European Union could limit export of the drug, endangering the supply to thousands of hospitals and clinics across the U.S.
Convicted killer Allen Nicklasson is scheduled to die Oct. 23 in the first execution to use propofol.
Fifty million vials of propofol are administered annually in the U.S. during surgery and other procedures requiring anesthetic. Roughly 85 percent of the U.S. supply is made in Europe by the German company Fresenius Kabi.
But the EU prohibits trade in goods that could be used for executions and is reviewing whether to subject propofol to controls that could slow export to the U.S.
Fresenius Kabi has launched a website expressing its concerns.