Monday, in an effort to buy the government time to negotiate a new contract with frustrated pharmacists, Health Minister Jerome Kennedy announced an amendment to the Pharmaceutical Service Act which will now require pharmacists to give the province 120 days notice before exiting the province’s prescription drug program. But the group of 65 independently owned pharmacies says it will cease to honour provincial drug cards come Thursday, a move Kennedy says is illegal. “It’s our position that that legislation is not going to affect our members, as our members have already put in their notice,” said Bradley Savoury, a lawyer representing the group. The Council of Independent Community Pharmacy Owners (CICPO) wants to negotiate directly with the government on a new policy on generic drugs, as well as changes to dispensing fees. Kennedy has said he will only negotiate with the Pharmacists Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL), of which all pharmacists are required by law to be members.