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Garrison pharmacist supports current law

2/24/11 (Thu)

Garrison pharmacist supports current law
By CHERYL ODDEN

Even before the vote, Kim Essler, Garrison, seemed confident that North Dakota’s HB 1434 would be – and should be – defeated.
On Monday, Essler, a registered pharmacist for more than 25 years, discussed an effort to pass legislation that would change how the state’s pharmacies operate.
A “yes” vote, he explained, would change a long-standing state requirement – that a registered pharmacist must own at least 51 percent of a pharmacy and must be involved in operation of that pharmacy.
If the bill passed, Essler said, it would pave the way for “big-box” companies to own pharmacies and to hire pharmacists to operate them.
Noting that the issue has been argued numerous times and was defeated by the 2009 North Dakota Legislature, Essler said supporters have been much less vocal this time around. “It was a very heated debate two years ago,” he said. “Both sides pulled out all the stops.”
Essler said the issue was recently discussed by the states’ Industry Business Labor (IBL) Committee. After hearing testimony for and against the proposal, Essler said the committee voted 11-3 for