Texas sues FDA to make decision on execution drug shipment

AP News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2017 5:13 PM

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas has filed a lawsuit to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to decide whether an impounded shipment of a drug used for executions should be delivered to the state.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the FDA is either incompetent or willfully obstructing the shipment of sodium thiopental that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice purchased from an unidentified foreign drug supplier.

The shipment was detained in July 2015 at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Galveston. It says the shipment of the sedative was lawful.

Paxton says the FDA has a legal obligation to make a decision within a "reasonable" timeframe. The Republican argues that 17 months isn't reasonable.

The FDA said Tuesday it doesn't comment on pending litigation.