North Dakota keeps pharmacy-ownership law

November 6, 2014

North Dakota voters soundly defeated a measure that would have eliminated a state law requiring that a pharmacist hold the majority ownership of pharmacies in the state.

North Dakota voters soundly defeated a measure that would have eliminated a state law requiring that a pharmacist hold the majority ownership of pharmacies in the state.

Measure 7 was opposed by 59% of the voters. North Dakota will remain the only state that prevents big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target from providing prescription medicines to consumers.

A recent poll suggested that voters were equally split on the issue, and that the measure would be decided by the 26% of voters that were still undecided.

Four years ago, a similar measure did not make it to state voters because of a procedural filing error. And several attempts to eliminate the pharmacy-ownership requirement have been rebuffed by state legislators.

“I would hope the people of North Dakota have spoken,” Steve Boehning, president of the North Dakota Pharmacists Association, told the Bismarck Tribune. “It’s been defeated legally and legislatively and now by the public.”

A spokesperson for North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices, Amanda Godfread, said the group does not have a next step. “We are disappointed in the results,” she said.