Defective anaesthetics produced by UK-based Dream Pharma have been blamed after a third US prisoner died in agony.

London-based Dream Pharma supplied sodium thiopental, used in the executions of Emmanuel Hammond, Brandon Rhode and Jeffrey Landrigan, but it has now been claimed that Landrigen kept his eyes open after receiving the lethal injection.

Legal action charity Reprieve claims that both Hammond and Rhode also had their eyes open, a sign that the anaesthetic had not worked, and have requested the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) recall the product.

Reprieve investigator Maya Foa said, “It is difficult to see how much more evidence the MHRA needs in order to recall a faulty drug. If Dream Pharma’s sodium thiopental is not taken out of circulation, more prisoners are likely to die in agony and the MHRA will bear responsibility for their ordeal.”

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable banned the export of sodium thiopental in November last year, after the drugs had been shipped to the US for use.