Michigan Nonlegend Drug Purchases Not Taxable

Michigan case Birchwood Manor, Inc. v Commissioner of Revenue found that the purchase of over-the-counter or “nonlegend” drugs for distribution to nursing home residents was exempt from use tax as a purchase of prescription drugs. The Court ruled that a nonlegend drug, in this instance, qualified as a prescription drug regardless of the common understanding of these terms because the nonlegend drug was both prescribed by a licensed physician and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Prior to the ruling, a plain language analysis of the relevant statute determined that a prescription drug is a drug distributed by a licensed pharmacist in accordance with a written prescription from a licensed physician. (Michigan Court of Appeals, Birchwood Manor, Inc. v Commissioner of Revenue, Nos. 236646, 236698, 236699, March 16, 2004)

Posted on May 15, 2004