MPhA News

Small Doses

June 30, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

U.S. Senate Delays Vote on Health Bill

From news sources, June 29: Senate Republican leaders have delayed a vote on their health care bill until after the July 4 Congressional recess. At least 12 Senate Republicans have said they oppose the bill, coming from both the moderate and conservative wings of the party. The National Community Pharmacists Association announced that it will continue to fight to ensure that key pharmacy provisions are retained in any health care reform bill. The American Pharmacists Association sent a letter to Senate leaders on June 26, encouraging policies that allow patients to access care from providers of their choosing, including pharmacists, and emphasizing the critical importance of coverage for prescription drugs and pharmacists’ services.

News From MPhA

Happy Independence Day from MPhA

All of us at the Minnesota Pharmacists Association wish you and your family a happy, safe and healthy July Fourth celebration! The MPhA office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4 for the holiday; many staff members are taking a vacation day on July 3, but staff will be available to answer your phone and email questions.

Minnesota News

Steve Simenson Receives University of Minnesota’s Highest Alumni Award

MPhA Past President Steve Simenson received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award from President Eric Kaler at an event on June 28 at Eastcliff. The award is the university’s highest non-degree honor. Simenson is a 1977 (BPharm) graduate of the College of Pharmacy. He is CEO and managing partner of Goodrich Pharmacy, Inc. Nearly 75 colleagues, friends and family members participated, coming from across the state, the region and the nation to help recognize the tremendous contributions Steve has made at all levels of pharmacy to advance patient care through pharmacist-provided clinical services.

Simenson was recognized for his innovation in pharmacy practice, his leadership in his community and his pharmacy leadership at the state and national level.

“Steve is perhaps the state of Minnesota’s foremost community pharmacist who is often recognized nationally as a key example of what a community pharmacy and pharmacist can do to bring direct patient care services to its patients,” said Marilyn Speedie, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “In a profession that is changing its focus from product to patient care, Steve is a pioneer and a leader. He demonstrates what is possible and then helps others do it as well.”

Simenson joined Goodrich Pharmacy of Anoka in 1981. Under his leadership, the practice has grown to six locations and the services offered have expanded from traditional dispensing services to include immunizations, asthma management, blood-pressure monitoring, cholesterol screening, custom compounding (human and veterinary), diabetes management, medication therapy management, smoking cessation, as well as health services to employers.

He was instrumental in Goodrich Pharmacy becoming one of the first pharmacy practices to be connected to a health system’s patient electronic medical record. This connectivity is now a national model for improving patient care by facilitating interdisciplinary practice.

Simenson is a renowned pharmacy leader who served as president of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association in 2000, and of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in 2014. He has been recognized for his leadership with a number of awards, including fellowship status in APhA, the Bowl of Hygiea Award, and the Distinguished Pharmacist Award from the Pharmacy Alumni Society. Simenson also serves on the COP’s National Board of Advisors, and as a mentor and preceptor to pharmacy students and residents.

Additional photos from the event can be viewed at the MPhA Facebook page.


Register Now: Celebration Honoring Dean Marilyn Speedie

July 27, 2017 • Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis

Registration is open now for an evening celebration of history and excellence as the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy honors Dean Marilyn Speedie for her 21 years of outstanding leadership at the college. The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. and program/dinner at 6:15 p.m.

The online registration area also allows you the options of sending a message to Marilyn and/or contributing to the Speedie Scholarship Fund as a founding donor (whether you attend the event or not). The cost for registration is $100, which includes dinner and entertainment. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 14.

Use Your Member Benefits

Ransomware Cyber-attacks Show Need for Pharmacies to Protect Data

From Pharmacists Mutual’s Risk Management Newsletter: The recent cyber-attacks that hit companies large and small around the globe represent just one example of the need for pharmacies to educate ourselves in the targeted areas that interest cyber criminals, and to learn how to protect our pharmacies from being attacked. The health care industry is among the most vulnerable to data breaches. Read the full article.

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company offers Risk Management Newsletter as a service to its customers.

National News

Pharmacists Authorized to Prescribe Tobacco Cessation Therapy in More States

From National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations News, June 23: More and more states are allowing pharmacists to provide tobacco cessation therapy to patients, whether through a statewide protocol or state regulations. Six states now or soon will have some form of tobacco cessation program: New Mexico, California, Idaho, Arizona, Maine and Colorado.

Read more about the various programs.


Opioid Use Highest among People with Mental Health Issues

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, June 26: More than 50% of all opioid prescriptions in the United States are written for adults who also have some type of mental health diagnosis, according to new research. Individuals with mental health disorders represent 16% of the population, and the researchers noted that improving pain management among this population is essential to reducing national dependency on opioids.

The study, from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the University of Michigan, will be published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. “Adults with mental health disorders were more than twice as likely to receive an opioid prescription,” said Brian Sites, MD, an anesthesiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “This higher opioid use among those with mental illness persists across all key characteristics including cancer status and various levels of self-reported pain.” Among the 38.6 million Americans diagnosed with mental health disorders, about 18% are being prescribed opioids every year, compared with 5% of adults without mental health disorders. Sites cautioned, “Because of the vulnerable nature of patients with mental illness, such as their susceptibility for opioid dependency and abuse, this finding warrants urgent attention to determine if the risks associated with such prescribing are balanced with therapeutic benefits.”


Final Medicare Part D DIR Reporting Requirements Released by CMS

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, June 26: The final CMS guidance relates to how Part D plan sponsors report direct and indirect remuneration (DIR). While the guidance will not change existing policy with regard to DIR fees, it does require plans to provide greater granularity to CMS on DIR amounts and the types of arrangements they put into place. CMS has responded positively to the National Community Pharmacists Association's (NCPA) recommendations over time, and this guidance does again increase the level of detail that sponsors must report regarding pharmacy price concessions.

CMS does make clear that the purpose of this document, including the changes to DIR #8 and DIR #9, is not to define what pharmacy price concessions can or cannot be reasonably determined at the point-of-sale. Rather, the purpose is to provide Part D sponsors guidance on how to report DIR, such as pharmacy price concessions that were not included in the negotiated price, for the 2016 contract year. NCPA remains committed to ending retroactive pharmacy DIR fees by passing S. 413 / H.R. 1038, the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act; however, NCPA is also committed to working with CMS to provide clarity on DIR fees as they currently exist via the regulatory process.

MPhA Events

July 19 Virtual Coffee Break Webinar

Introduction to Pharmacogenomics

In this one-hour webinar, we will review the current approach to pharmacogenomic testing in the field of medicine. In addition, presenters Kandace Schuft, PharmD, and Mathura Shanmugasundaram, PhD, will discuss the details and depth of pharmacogenomics while explaining the impact of pharmacogenomics on the future of medicine and exploring its implementation in clinical practice.

Read more

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 • Online Webinar
FREE for all MPhA Members • Non-member cost: $25 per person

Register Online


Join Us at the 2017 MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event & MTM Symposium!

Chart Your Course for Change with MPhA, September 7-8 in St. Paul

Join your colleagues at this peer-designed event, which will allow to you create an agenda for your practice and professional development. We have a tremendous line-up of speakers and topics! Here are just a few highlights:

  • Mark Loafman, MD, Feinberg School of Medicine: Physicians’ Perspective on Integrating Medication Management into Primary Care
  • Krista Gens, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, Abbott Northwestern Hospital: Antibiotics – Common Conditions, URIs, UTIs, Susceptability
  • Lynda S. Welage, PharmD, FCCP: The College of Pharmacy’s Vision for the Future
  • Molly Ekstrand, RPh, BCACP AE-C, Park Nicollet Medication Management Program; Rajiv Shah, MD, MyMeds; Barb Stodola, Park Nicollet Health Services: Creating Patient-Focused Dream Teams to Better Care
  • Kristy Melby, PharmD, LADC, CTTS, Genesis Recovery Services, LLC: Becoming an Addiction Specialist Pharmacist

Register Online

Did You Know?

APhA Opioid Use, Abuse and Misuse Resource Center

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) works closely to monitor, respond and inform its members about opioid use, abuse and misuse; the association has developed a website with new information and resources as they become available.