UK firm sent drugs for lethal injections to US

Drugs used for lethal injections in the US were supplied by a small pharmaceutical company run from the back of a driving school in west London, it was revealed yesterday.

Dream Pharma, run by businessman Mehdi Alavi from the Elgone Driving Academy in Horn Lane, Acton, exported drugs to Arizona State Prison at a total cost of 4,528.

An invoice dated September 28 last year shows the company supplied the prison with 150 vials of sodium thiopental, 180 vials of potassium chloride and 450 vials of pancuronium bromide.

Legal charity Reprieve said this was enough to kill at least 10 prisoners, and it called for urgent action to ban the export of drugs used in executions.

The chemicals, shipped by courier company Fedex, are thought to have been used in October to execute convicted murderer Jeffrey Landrigan.

Speaking from his business premises, Mr Alavi, 50, who describes his company as an

independent pharmaceutical wholesaler, said: "I've no comment."

Earlier he told the BBC he had "no idea" why the prison had ordered the drugs.

Business Secretary Vince Cable banned the export of sodium thiopental in late November but Reprieve accused the Business Secretary of "sitting on his hands on this issue" and called for an immediate ban on the other two drugs.

The US has recently run short of the three drugs used in executions. Sodium thiopental is used first to induce a coma, followed by pancuronium bromide which paralyses the muscles, and potassium chloride which stops the heart.