Georgia Department of Corrections Cited in Documents Regarding Tulsa Compound Pharmacy

Jan 27, 2014

Many states including Georgia are no longer able to get the lethal injection drug Pentobarbital.

That’s because overseas manufacturers object to its use in executions and refuse to sell to U.S. prisons.

Lately, the issue of using compounding pharmacies to make the drug has also become controversial.

Over the weekend, a story broke about the Louisiana Department of Corrections possibly procuring its execution drug from an  out-of state and unapproved  Oklahoma compound pharmacy for an upcoming execution.

A story broke about the Louisiana Department of Corrections possibly procuring its execution drug from a state approved Oklahoma compound pharmacy for an upcoming execution.

Christopher Sepulvado is scheduled to die by lethal injection next week.

And as we hear from WABE’s Rose Scott, the story has ties to Georgia.

The compounding pharmacy is called the Apothecary Shoppe and it’s located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Compounding pharmacies manufacture drugs specifically made for a particular patient and require a prescription.

At issue is whether or not the Louisiana Department of Corrections is trying to use the Apothecary Shoppe to procure Pentobarbital for an upcoming scheduled execution.

The potential problem is that the compound pharmacy is not licensed to sell drugs to Louisiana.

That’s against the law.

As of right now, there’s no evidence that the Louisiana DOC has broken any law.

Reporter Della Hasselle broke the story for the New Orleans online news site The Lens after obtaining documents

“All that these documents prove are that the state was in communication with this pharmacy and that there this was an agreement, a confidential agreement that was exchanged between pharmacy and the signatory.”

This is where Georgia’s Department of Corrections comes into the story.

In the confidentiality agreement obtained by WABE, an email from the Louisiana Department of Corrections and the Apothecary Shoppe shows the Georgia Department of Corrections as the recipient.

It’s not clear if the agreement is simply a template or was actually used in potential contractual talks with the Georgia DOC.

In a statement, officials would only say, “the department legally procures the lethal injection drug that is used in court ordered executions.”

They did not offer an explanation as to why the Georgia DOC would be cited in the confidential and nondisclosure agreement used by Apothecary and the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

Like Louisiana, Georgia is currently entangled in legal issues regarding the constitutionality of its state law regarding using compounded drugs in an execution.

As of right now, non-resident pharmacies are not licensed in Georgia.

They cannot sell or ship drugs to Georgia.

According to a state official, the state pharmacy board is currently working on the process for non-resident pharmacies to obtain permits. 

When called by WABE, an employee of the Apothecary Shoppe in Tulsa declined to speak about the story and subsequently hung up the phone in mid-conversation.