Healthcare firm Fresenius Kabi receives award for action to prevent use of drug in executions

June 18, 2013

Image of drugs

A pharmaceutical company which has taken steps to prevent its product from being used in executions by lethal injection will today receive an award recognising its ethical leadership in the industry.

Fresenius Kabi announced last September that it had put in place controls designed to ensure that its propofol product would not be sold or distributed to correctional facilities where it could be used to carry out the death penalty.Fresenius Kabi, which at the time was the sole US supplier of the anesthesia drug, acted after US states started considering the use of propofol as supplies of previously-used execution drugs became scarce.

John Ducker, the CEO of Fresenius Kabi USA, will today receive the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for Ethical Leadership in the Pharmaceutical Industry on behalf of the company. The award is presented by human rights charity Reprieve. Mr Ducker said:

“Everything we do at Fresenius Kabi is to help assure the safety and availability of therapies for patients and those who care for them, we are pleased to accept this award on behalf of our employees and customers.”

Maya Foa, Deputy Director of Reprieve’s Death Penalty Team said:

“Fresenius Kabi has shown unwavering commitment to the core values of the Hippocratic Oath, taking unprecedented steps to ensure their products are used to advance the health and wellbeing of patients all over the world, and are not put to ill use. In so doing, they have shown themselves to be a true leader in ethical business.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8161 /

2. In September 2012, Fresenius put in place a comprehensive system of distribution controls to prevent its product from being used off-label to carry out executions by lethal injection. Further information can be found here. A statement issued by Fresenius at the time can be found here.

3. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK; if you were forwarded this release, sign up to join our press mailing list