Local pharmacist opposes Measure 7
By Lee Coleman
Local pharmacist Mike Chase, owner of Hazen Drug, is against Measure 7 that would allow large chains like Walmart and Target to open pharmacies in their stores, currently prohibited in North Dakota by Section 43-15-35 of the North Dakota Century Code.
If Measure 7 is passed Nov. 4, it would repeal the requirement that an applicant for a permit to operate a pharmacy must be a licensed pharmacist or a business entity controlled by a licensed pharmacist.
According to Chase, members of the Pharmacy Board decided to move forward in 1964, giving pharmacies more responsibility to make decisions as long as they owned 51 percent of the business or more.
“There are quite a few box store chains in the state already but there are still some majors that aren’t here yet,” Chase said. “Competition is always good but some of the larger chains that have the means to decrease competition for their own good by closing pharmacies and not keeping them open for a price that can be manipulated in their favor.”
In small towns like Hazen, pharmacies are a steady part of the community, just like hardware stores and grocery stores.