KALISPELL - The parent company of Kalispell Regional Medical Center has opened a pharmacy in Kalispell, and independent drug stores are fuming about competition from a non-profit corporation.
Northwest Healthcare, which owns the regional hospital, opened The Clinical Pharmacy this month.
The owners of Kalispell's independent pharmacies say they appreciate Northwest Healthcare's right to seek new streams of revenue. But they argue that opening a retail pharmacy infringes on an area where the community's health care needs are already being met by existing pharmacies.
Jim Oliverson, a vice president at Kalispell Regional, says a primary motive for opening the pharmacy is the prescription drug cost savings it'll provide - roughly $250,000 annually - for the hospital and its more than 2,000 employees.