The state Department of Corrections has approved a new drug for use in lethal injections to carry out the death penalty.

In a statement, the Department says it has adopted a one-drug protocol [download PDF] using propofol, otherwise known as Diprovan. This replaces a three-drug method used previously.

The state had to look for a new method for lethal injections after the only company that made one of the three drugs used in that procedure stopped producing it. Sodium thiopental was used to put the subject of an execution to sleep before two other drugs were injected to stop breathing and the pumping of the heart.