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Updated Mar 26, 2014 - 12:41 pm

Availability issue forces Arizona to change lethal-injection drugs

PHOENIX — Arizona is changing from a single drug for executions to a two-drug combination already used in Ohio because it is no longer able to obtain the previous drug.

Attorney General Tom Horne announced Wednesday that the Department of Corrections will use a combination of a sedative and a powerful painkiller to execute condemned prisoners.

The two drugs will replace pentobarbital for use in executions at the state prison in Florence.

The previous 11 executions conducted by the state since 2011 used pentobarbital. But its sole manufacturer has refused to sell to states for use in executions. Oklahoma and Texas turned to compounding pharmacies to obtain the drug but Horne said in a statement that those pharmacies faced threats.

Horne said state law blocks release of the new drugs' supplier.

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