NETHERLANDS – The US pharmaceutical Hospira has ceased supplying US prisons with a chemical used during executions after a dialogue with ABP, the €281bn civil service scheme has claimed.

ABP voiced concerns about Hospira selling the product – potassium chloride – for use in lethal injections, after a request from British human rights organisation Reprieve that it disinvest in the company.

According to the pension fund, the pharmaceutical has also indicated that it will change its distribution system, in order to increase the effectiveness of the exclusion.

ABP said it was pleased that its dialogue with Hospira had lead to a positive outcome, adding that it would continue monitoring whether the company is living up to its promise.

Last year, the civil service scheme had a €4m stake in the US pharmaceutical.

In 2011, the Danish pharmaceutical Lundbeck stopped supplying US prisions with the anaesthetic pentobarbital, by adjusting its distribution system, after the UK banned the export of the product to the US for executions.

ABP based its request to Hospira on the protection of the human rights clause in the UN Global Compact treaty, said Jos van Dijk, spokeswoman for ABP.

She added that Hospira's decision followed  from its standard engagement practices, carried out by ABP's provider APG and initiated last month.