Back in 1963, North Dakota passed a law that all pharmacies within its borders must be owned by at least 51% of the pharmacist. What does this mean? No chain pharmacies are allowed to operate in North Dakota in order to protect local businesses, with a few exceptions of course. Some of these companies have found loopholes such as offering stock to employees or by buying stores that were grandfathered in. While these few chains still exist in North Dakota, they are sparse causing little competition for locally owned businesses. In 2014 the state revisited the law and voted to keep it in place to ensure business stayed local.
This law has helped prove the many benefits of relying on your community pharmacies rather than chains. Currently, small pharmacies are breaking headlines everywhere due to their superior efficiency of administering COVID vaccines. In states like North Dakota and West Virginia where small pharmacies dominate, they have had higher vaccination records than states who mostly depend on large chains. Other States like Maine have taken vaccinations originally allocated to chains and given them to mom-and-pop shops due to efficiency. Chain pharmacies have been taking much longer to administer the vaccinations while small pharmacies have been pushing to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Local pharmacists are the heart of their area, dedicated to helping the community.
“It is so great to see that GRx’s small pharmacies are not going unnoticed. I am so grateful that I am able to work with pharmacists who have such a large impact on our communities!” said Theresa Von Fricken, Director of Client Services.