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Published October 08, 2009, 03:46 PM

Repeal of ND Pharmacy Ownership Law Proposed

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure would repeal North Dakota's law that says only pharmacists may own a controlling share of most North Dakota pharmacies.

The initiative was submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Thursday. Jaeger will review the petition and approve it for circulation later this month.

Backers of the proposal need to get at least 12,844 petition signatures from North Dakota voters to put the issue on the statewide ballot in 2010.

Earlier this year the North Dakota House defeated a similar bill to repeal North Dakota's restrictions on pharmacy ownership. Officials on both sides say North Dakota is the only state in the nation that requires pharmacists to have majority ownership of most pharmacies.

The repeal effort has been pushed by large retail stores such as Target and Wal-Mart because they want to have company-owned pharmacies in their stores. North Dakota community pharmacists have fought to keep the law.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press