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Supporters of changing North Dakota pharmacy ownership law get measure on November ballot


BISMARCK, North Dakota — People who want to change North Dakota's pharmacy ownership law have successfully pushed the matter to a public vote.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger says his office has verified that submitted petitions have enough valid signatures to put the proposed measure on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Jaeger says supporters collected 22,758 valid signatures, well more than the required 13,452.

The proposed measure would change a requirement in North Dakota law that says majority ownership in pharmacies in the state must be held by a registered pharmacist. That could open the door for big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart to operate pharmacies in the state.

A similar petition drive failed in 2010, a year after the 2009 Legislature defeated a bill that would have repealed the pharmacy ownership requirement.

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