WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published November 03, 2009, 04:54 PM

Group Wants To Repeal North Dakota Pharmacy Law

A North Dakota group is trying to change the state's pharmacy ownership law.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

A North Dakota group is trying to change the state's pharmacy ownership law. Right now pharmacies need to have a licensed pharmacist as their majority owner, but changing the law would allow big box retailers like Walmart and Target to have sell prescription drugs.

They may have food and garden centers, but you won't find prescription drugs at North Dakota Walmarts. But a group called North Dakotans for Lower Prescription Drugs is starting a campaign to try to change that. Some people think this is a good idea.

Patrick Hurley: "Anything to lower prescriptions is a good deal."

George Lerma: "They don't give you a discount or anything now, so five dollars, ten dollars really helps, you know!"

The group's chair, Doctor Eric Thompson, says the current law prevents people from having a choice in where to buy prescription drugs. Repealing the law means stores like Walmart can sell prescriptions for as low as four dollars each, but not everyone thinks that's such a good idea.

Jeanine Garner: "A big corporation like that is taking over and it would put a lot of smaller businesses out of business."

Other people say they prefer the attention they get at their local pharmacy, and going to a larger store for their medications would hurt them.

John Melby: "I don't pay anything for my prescriptions here, so if I went to Walmart or something it would cost me more."

The group hopes to gather 20 thousand signatures by December 30 and get the issue on a statewide ballot next November.

The North Dakota Legislature defeated an attempt to repeal the law earlier this year.