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Letter: Some facts about the proposed pharmacy measure

Take the time to check out the facts on the pharmacy ownership law. If your readers will take the time, as the North Dakota House of Representatives, the North Dakota Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have done to actually seek out the fac...

Take the time to check out the facts on the pharmacy ownership law.
If your readers will take the time, as the North Dakota House of Representatives, the North Dakota Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have done to actually seek out the facts concerning the business and practice of Pharmacy in North Dakota, they will find that this law has, does and will continue to serve North Dakotans extremely well and is probably more relevant today than ever.
The New Rules Project, a non-profit, national “think tank” group studied the issue in 2011 and wrote “The Benefits of North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law.” Facts that came out of that study and a 2012 National Association of Chain Drug Store prescription price study and regional state boards of pharmacy statistics include:
- Average prescription prices in North Dakota are among the lowest in the country (12 percent below the national average and 43rd in the nation). Average cash prescription prices in Minnesota are 34 percent higher than in North Dakota.
- This shift from locally owned to chain pharmacies would result in a net loss of nearly $23 million in direct economic benefits to the state annually. They estimate that nearly 70 pharmacies (27 percent of our pharmacies) would close, affecting nearly 600 people. Not to mention what it would do to the rural communities.
- Compared to neighboring states, North Dakota has more pharmacies per capita and more pharmacists per capita, many of which are dispersed throughout rural counties where they are - in many cases - the only health care provider in the region.
According to the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy, Fargo’s sister city Sioux Falls, S.D., has fewer pharmacies per capita than Fargo but even more significantly, 76 percent of all pharmacy services provided in the Sioux Falls region are supplied by only four corporations. An extreme lack of choice. The Fargo market has 38 pharmacies owned by 20 different owners. Obviously, more competitive and more choice.
These are just a few of the facts surrounding this law. Don’t be fooled by the big-box marketing geniuses. Their interest is their bottom line and market share control.
Vote no on Measure 7, repealing the pharmacy ownership law. It is in your best interest.

David Olig, Pharmacist, Fargo

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