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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by admin | No Comments | Updated on Oct 20, 2014

Report: North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law Leads to Better Pharmacy Care

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/report-pharmacy-ownership-law/

On November 4th, North Dakota voters will decide whether to overturn a  long-standing, and forward-thinking, state law that mandates that only a licensed pharmacist may own and operate a pharmacy in the state.  Enacted in 1963, the goal of the Pharmacy Ownership Law is to ensure that the state’s pharmacies are run by people whose first allegiance is to the provision of healthcare in their communities, rather than to the bottom line of a distant retail corporation.  Although North Dakota’s law is unique in the U.S., pharmacy ownership laws are prevalent in other parts of the world, including many European countries.

Image: report cover

North Dakota’s law has lately come under attack by out-of-state companies, chiefly Walmart.  In 2009, a Walmart- and Walgreens-backed bill to overturn the law was defeated on a 35 to 57 vote in the North Dakota House.  In 2011,  another bill to overturn the law was defeated, this time on a 26 to 68 vote in the House. Now, three years later, an entity financed exclusively by Walmart, North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices, has collected enough signatures — by paying a signature-gathering firm out of Michigan — to put the law to a vote. As of early October, Walmart had already contributed $2.7 million to the campaign to overturn North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law —  more per resident than either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney each spent during the entire 2012 presidential race.

Today, ILSR released a data-driven study of North Dakota’s Pharmacy Ownership Law.  The new report counters many of the unsubstantiated claims made by Walmart’s North Dakotans for Lower Pharmacy Prices, finding that, across every key measure of pharmacy care, North Dakota outperforms other states.

Download:  Full Report   |   Press Release   |   Charts

Among the report’s key findings:

  • North Dakota’s prescription drug prices are among the lowest in the country. Over the last five years, North Dakota has ranked 13th in lowest prescription prices among the 50 states, according to a leading source of prescription price data. Compared to South Dakota, the average prescription price in North Dakota is not only lower, but has increased much more slowly over the last five years.
  • North Dakotans receive a high level of care from their locally owned pharmacies, and in national studies, independent pharmacies consistently outperform pharmacies operated by chains and big-box stores.
  • North Dakotans enjoy an unparalleled level of pharmacy access, with more pharmacies per capita than any neighboring state and the national average.  Pharmacies in North Dakota are not only more plentiful, they’re also more broadly distributed.  North Dakota’s rural census tracts have 51 percent more pharmacies than South Dakota’s do.
  • If the Pharmacy Ownership Law is overturned, the report finds that about 70 of North Dakota’s local pharmacies would close, including 25 pharmacies that currently serve sparsely populated areas. The state’s older residents would be particularly hard hit.
  • A shift from locally owned pharmacies to chains and mail order firms would lead to direct economic losses in the state, as measured in declines in wages and business income, of at least $17 million a year and as high as $29 million, with corresponding declines in indirect economic activity and tax revenue.

North Dakota’s superior pharmacy care is no accident, but rather the result of a smart, forward-thinking policy.  On November 4th, North Dakotans will decide whether to keep that policy.

Photo: Walmart Store
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 9, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Rooftop Solar, ILSR Report Finds

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/walton-report/

The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power. Continue reading

Photo: Grocery Aisle
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 25, 2014

A Trojan Carrot

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/trojan-carrot/

Walmart already controls more than 25 percent of the U.S. grocery market. With its latest organic scheme, it’s aiming to control even more. Continue reading

photo: amazon warehouse
Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on May 1, 2014

Amazon’s Big Assist from Government

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/amazons-big-assist-government/

A new study finds Amazon’s sales drop in states where it is required to collect sales taxes, revealing what Jeff Bezos has undoubtedly known for years: the company’s success, its track record of shuttering local businesses, is as much a product of government favoritism as it is of its own ingenuity. Continue reading

Photo: neighborhood business
Featured Article filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2014

Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/understanding-small-business-credit-crunch/

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. A new ILSR analysis has found that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and “micro” business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent. To shed light on this problem and help inform policy discussions, ILSR has published an overview of the small business lending landscape. Continue reading