Letter: Law allows for best pharmaceutical service
First a little history, the Board of Pharmacy was established by the 1890 Legislature as the Pharmacy Practice Act requiring the governor to appoint a state board of pharmacy which is responsible for examining and licensing applicants for licensure as pharmacists, for issuing permits to operate pharmacies and for regulating and controlling the dispensing of prescription drugs and the practice of pharmacy for the protection of the health, welfare and safety of the citizens of North Dakota.
This is the basis for the Ownership Law and to achieve this it is necessary for the pharmacist to own 51 percent so he will have the power to make decisions regarding the health, welfare and safety of citizens from a professional standpoint and not by some non-pharmacist CEO, regional or district manager who is out of state and out of touch with the health needs of the citizens of North Dakota and basing those decisions mostly on profit and loss statements and not on the health needs of citizens.
No, the Pharmacy Ownership Law is not archaic as the Committee for Affordable Health Care would like you to believe but is a true and tested tool to insure the best pharmaceutical service for its citizens and not one to limit chain competition! Did you know there is a provision in the law that allows a non-pharmacist store to enter into a lease agreement with a pharmacist where the pharmacist owns 51 percent and the chain owns 49 percent but the committee neglects to inform us about this!
I am practicing in North Dakota with the Ownership Law and in Arizona without and it is apparent North Dakota citizens have service above and beyond any other states, even with us being rural, and I must say if we citizens stand by and allow this law to be repealed then we are taking a step backward. Decisions affect our health care and I am sure that is something we will not like.
Contact your legislators and tell them you want this law for your protection. Yes, we are the only state with this law and that is not bad as it is a testimonial to the foresight of the pharmacists here, of whom most are deceased that took this law to the U.S. Supreme Court and they held for the state.
Bruce G. Rodenhizer, pharmacist, Stanley