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Execution drug cost quadruples for Texas prisons

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - The Texas prison agency is paying four times more for its execution drugs from a new supplier.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show the state paid $13,500 for its most recent batch of pentobarbital at a cost of $1,500 per vial. This compares to $350 per dose paid last year to a previous supplier that cut ties after backlash from death penalty opponents.

Texas officials have declined to comment on details of their purchase.

Nonetheless, the spike does not appear extraordinary. A survey of pharmacies in the Houston area shows Nembutal, the brand name for pentobarbital, selling for about $1,500.

The cost is a bargain compared to Missouri, which also uses pentobarbital for executions. Records earlier this year showed state officials there paid as much as $8,000 per dose.

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