RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In the span of a year, the cost for the state of Virginia to obtain lethal injection drugs has leapt from about $525 per execution to $16,500.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the price rose after the General Assembly passed a law allowing the state to buy execution drugs from compounding pharmacies whose identities are secret.
The law, which took effect July 1, was passed after lawmakers feared executions in the state would grind to a halt as pharmaceutical companies stopped participating in the death penalty nationwide.
The Department of Corrections says it had cost slightly less than $250 in 2014 to receive the drugs directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy says the $16,500 price tag is “the cost of enforcing the law.”