Arkansas board investigating state's buy of lethal drugs

The Arkansas State Medical Board says it's investigating whether any licensed doctors helped the Department of Correction obtain the drugs used to execute four inmates last month.

Kevin O'Dwyer, who serves as an attorney for the medical board, says the inquiry arose after media coverage of the executions.

Arkansas uses three drugs in lethal injections: a sedative, a paralytic and a final drug that stops the heart. But the state doesn't have to publicly reveal details about how it obtains the drugs because of a secrecy law passed by the Legislature.

Many pharmaceutical companies have objected to the use of their products in executions.

O'Dwyer tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette ( ) the board can subpoena witnesses and records, and it has the authority to reprimand doctors or revoke their licenses.