Sunday, February 08, 2009

Big drugstore operators take aim at N. Dakota law

From the Associated Press:
North Dakotans packed an auditorium on the state Capitol grounds Tuesday to debate a state law requiring pharmacies to have pharmacists as their majority owners. The law is under heavy fire from large retailers who say that if it's repealed, they can offer $4 prescriptions and lower drug costs.

North Dakota, where you can't get a prescription filled at a Walgreens, is the only state with such a law, state officials say.

The National Conference of State Legislatures found at least one other state requiring a percentage of pharmacist ownership but none as restrictive as North Dakota.

Republican state Rep. Jon Nelson of Rugby, a sponsor of a bill to repeal the ownership restriction, said it would give people better choices in buying prescription drugs and would help those who are uninsured and underinsured.

Nine-year-old Jakob Olson of Bismarck was one of the first to speak for the repeal. He said he has gone through seven surgeries, and has asthma and allergies, and said his parents have referred to the legislation as the "Jakob Bill." ...more

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