Earlier this week, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), an organization with approximately 62,000 members, voted to discourage pharmacists from participating in executions “on the basis that such activities are fundamentally contrary to the role of pharmacists as providers of health care.” They joined the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP) “an association representing more than 4,000 pharmacists, technicians, students, and members of the compounding community”, which adopted a similar resolution last week.
From the APhA statement announcing the vote:
APhA Executive Vice President and CEO, Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, stated, “Pharmacists are health care providers and pharmacist participation in executions conflicts with the profession’s role on the patient health care team. This new policy aligns APhA with the execution policies of other major health care associations including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association and the American Board of Anesthesiology.
As more and more major drug manufacturers ban the use of their drugs in executions, states have been increasingly relying on compounding pharmacies to secure lethal injection drugs. While the policies regarding participating in executions from APhA and IACP are not binding on their members, they are expected to have a significant impact given the influence that both APhA and IACP exert in the field.
In an interview with Huffington Post, William Fasset, an APhA board member who drafted the new policy explained:
“We’re not trying to get pharmacists de-licensed," Fassett said. "We just want it clear to pharmacists...that they can’t" participate in executions...“Every major organization of health care providers who could potentially be asked by the state to join their execution team now have a uniform goal against this," he said. “When you’re out by the ocean and the tide finally starts to come in, you think, 'Which of all those waves is the most important? The first wave that breaks? The last wave to roll in?' I'm glad we added our little wave to the tide," Fassett said.
Washington Post: Pharmacists Group Tells Members Not to Participate in Executions
The NCADP has created the 90 Million Strong Campaign to unite the voices of those who believe the death penalty is wrong. We need to demonstrate that the broad public support to end this practice is already here in America, and 90 million people speaking up can make a difference.