North Dakota is the only state left that still requires that pharmacies be majority owned by pharmacists who are licensed in their state. This may be changing in lieu of the fact that a vote aimed at changing North Dakota’s pharmacy ownership law will appear on the November 4th statewide ballot. If it passes, the state law would be amended to remove the requirements that all pharmacies in North Dakota be owned and operated by a licensed pharmacist in the state, a business that is controlled by licensed pharmacists in the state or a hospital pharmacy or post-graduate medical residency training program.
Many have claimed that the existing law and status in North Dakota has resulted in higher costs for prescription drugs and pharmacy related services by presenting people in the state with fewer options. A group aptly named the North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices has repeatedly pointed to a 2009 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that they say supports their claim that the current law leads to inflated prescription prices in the state due to lowered competition. The study found that per-capita spending on prescription and non-prescription drugs in North Dakota was the fifth highest in the nation. The North Dakota Pharmacists Association still supports the existing law and has advanced its own studies letting voters know why the law should be kept in place by voters.
It is important to note that changing the pharmacy ownership law would allow giant national retailers such as Walgreens and Wal-Mart to finally operate pharmacies in the state.
Healthcare Consultants has been in business for over 25 years providing consultations to pharmacists and pharmacy owners on the topic of pharmacy ownership. If you have any questions regarding the laws and rules in your state on the subject of pharmacy ownership, we urge you to contact us online or call us today at 800-642-1652.
Keep in mind that HCC is a full service Pharmacy staffing and service provider that offers a broad range of additional services including:
– Pharmacist coverage – temporary, vacation & fill-in coverage
– Direct hire / permanent placement
– Provide pharmacy manager / PIC
– Equipment needs assessment
– Medicaid / 3rd party review
– Moving a pharmacy to a new location
– Exist strategies
– Out of state licensing
– Business plans/ Pro Forma
– Management consultations
– Audit / survey /mock inspections
– Regulatory agency review
– Expanding, redesigning or a complete overhaul of your pharmacy
– Compliance review for compounding pharmacies (USP 795 & 797)
– Policy & procedure recommendations