North Dakota Pharmacy Ownership Initiative (2014)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
The law, which the initiative proposed to overturn, was first approved in 1963. It required that pharmacists have a majority ownership of most North Dakota pharmacies.
On July 6, 2011 supporters filed the initiative for a second time in hopes of qualifying it for the 2012 ballot. The effort was organized by Duane Sand. The proposed initiative was approved by Secretary of State Al Jaeger for petition circulation on July 15, 2011. Proponents have one year to collect a minimum of 13,452 petition signatures in order to qualify for the 2012 statewide ballot.
In February 2009 the North Dakota House of Representatives reviewed and rejected a bill that proposed repeal the provision that requires pharmacies to be majority-owned by pharmacists. It was argued that the law prevents stores and hospitals from opening their own pharmacies in North Dakota.
A similar measure was proposed in 2010 but did not appear on the ballot. After reviewing the submitted petition signatures, it was determined that the initiative had exceeded the signature requirement by 91 signatures, however, supporters failed to submit a list of sponsoring committee members with the petition sheets. Failure to supply that list of sponsoring committee members, election officials said, would prevent the measure from going on the ballot. Supporters requested a review, however, on August 19, 2010 Secretary of State Al Jaeger officially announced that the measure would not appear on the 2010 ballot.
2011 legislative bill
In early 2011, House Bill 1434 was filed in the North Dakota Legislative Assembly. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Karen Kresbach and Representatives Thomas Beadle, Stacey Dahl, Mark Owens, Roscoe Streyle and Blair Thoreson. The proposed bill would amend the state's pharmacy ownership laws. Beadle argued that more competition in the pharmacy business would drive down prices and create more jobs in the state. Beadle added, "I'm not arguing that we ought to prefer chain stores over independent retailers. I'm arguing the citizens have the right to choose for themselves wherever they feel is best."
The 2011 effort was organized by Duane Sand. However, Bismarck physician Eric Thompson, who was chairman of 2010's campaign, is also heading the new initiative campaign. "We believe that this will provide lower prescription drug prices for the general public," said Duane Sand, organizer of the 2011 initiative.
Supporters of the 2010 effort included a group called North Dakotans for Affordable Healthcare and North Dakotans for Lower Prescription Drugs. As of April 2010 the North Dakotans for Lower Prescription Drugs said supporters had collected approximately 13,000 petition signatures, exceeding the minimum requirement.
Path to the ballot
- See also: North Dakota signature requirements
In order to qualify the initiative for the 2012 ballot supporters are required to collect a minimum of 13,452 valid signatures. According to reports, supporters plan to use volunteers to circulate petitions.
The proposed initiative was approved by Secretary of State Al Jaeger for petition circulation on July 15, 2011. Proponents have one year to collect a minimum of 13,452 petition signatures in order to qualify for the 2012 statewide ballot.
Initiative supporters were required to collect a minimum of 12,844 valid signatures by August 4, 2010. In November 2009, repeal supporters said they were aiming to collect approximately 20,000 signatures by December 30, 2009. As of August 6, 2010, reports by the secretary of state's office stated that the proposed pharmacy initiative may not qualify for the ballot after all. After reviewing the filed signatures, it was determined that the initiative had exceeded the signature requirement by 91 signatures, however, supporters failed to submit a list of sponsoring committee members with the petition sheets. The committee list, according to officials, would withhold the measure from the ballot.
- See also: Thompson v. Jaeger
On August 17, 2010, Bismarck physician Eric Thompson, chairman of the initiative campaign, submitted a letter to Jaeger as a request for Jaeger to reverse his decision and refer the measure to the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot. According to a report by the Associated Press, Jaeger said he would not discuss the the filing until it was discussed further with Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Thompson argues that although state law requires the circulation of the entire petition, it does not explicitly require the sponsors list to be attached. In the letter, Thompson noted that the sponsor's list was "at most, a minor compliance issue."
On August 19 Secretary of State Al Jaeger officially announced that the measure would not appear on the 2010 ballot. Supporters have the option of filing a legal challenge, however, a court decision would have to be made prior to the September 8 deadline to certify measures for the November ballot.
Just prior to the court hearings, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said, "Not circulating the petitions in their entirety is more than a mere technicality. The failure to include the names and addresses of the sponsors raises serious questions regarding the integrity of the initiative process."
Thompson v. Jaeger addressed if its legal for the Secretary of State to require the initiative's sponsors to disclose the names of persons that serve on a campaign's leadership committee as part of turning in signatures. The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled that sponsors of initiatives must disclose the names of persons that serve on the campaign's leadership committee by a unanimous 5-0 vote on September 7, 2010.
- Green light issued for pharmacy ownership initiative in North Dakota
- Opponents of North Dakota pharmacy ownership laws file initiative for 2012
- Efforts to repeal North Dakota's pharmacy ownership laws resurface for 2012
- North Dakota officials finalize 2010 ballot following court ruling
- North Dakota Secretary of State confirms pharmacy initiative won't appear on ballot (updated)
- Pharmacy initiative supporters continue to seek spot on North Dakota ballot
- Two initiatives meet North Dakota petition drive deadline
- North Dakota pharmacy ownership repeal initiative filed for 2010
- North Dakotans for Affordable Healthcare (supporters of measure)
- Full text of the petition
- Initiative Timeline
- The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,"Petition focused on signatures first," August 25, 2011
- The Jamestown Sun,"Readers split on N.D. court’s measure ruling," September 15, 2010
- Associated Press,"Pharmacy measure in ND Supreme Court's hands," September 2, 2010
- KXnet.com,"Pharmacy Issue Hits Supreme Court," September 1, 2010
- Modern Medicine,"North Dakota pharmacy ownership rules under fire from ballot initiative," July 15, 2010
- The Bismark Tribune,"Petitions seek to put six measures on ballot," April 1, 2010
- Associated Press,"Summary of N.D. ballot initiatives," August 4, 2010
- Associated Press,"Foes of ND pharmacy ownership rule again seeking voter repeal," July 6, 2011
- The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,"Pharmacy petition affidavits ready," July 6, 2012
- The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,"Pharmacy petition language approved," July 16, 2011
- The Bismark Tribune,"Effort begins to put pharmacy measure on ballot," October 9, 2009
- The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead,"Pharmacy measure petitions incomplete," August 6, 2010
- Associated Press,"Jaeger: ND pharmacy measure won't go on ballot," August 19, 2010
- Associated Press,"Struggle resumes over ND pharmacy ownership rules," February 16, 2011
- North Dakota Legislative Assembly,"HB 1434," retrieved February 22, 2011
- The Forum,"Pharmacy change advocates continue gathering signatures for statewide vote," April 18, 2010
- Associated Press,"North Dakota Secretary of State Jaeger approves pharmacy restrictions petition for circulation," July 15, 2011
- Prairie Business,"Opponents of North Dakota pharmacy ownership law launch signature campaign," November 3, 2009
- Associated Press,"Many ND ballot measures falling short for now," August 4, 2010
- Associated Press,"Advocates scramble to salvage N.D. pharmacy measure," August 9, 2010
- Associated Press,"Backers of pharmacy measure seek spot on ND ballot," August 17, 2010
- Grand Forks Herald,"North Dakota AG: Pharmacy measure shouldn't make November ballot," August 27, 2010
- KFGO,"Stenehjem to argue pharmacy case," August 23, 2010
- Associated Press,"Pharmacy ownership measure now in North Dakota Supreme Court's hands," September 1, 2010
- Legale "Text of Thompson v. Jaeger", September 7, 2010