MPhA News

Small Doses

July 7, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Invite Your U.S. Senators/Representative to Visit Your Pharmacy

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, June 30: Congress has an in-district work period scheduled for July 1-10 followed by a month-long one in August, making this an ideal time to invite your lawmakers for a pharmacy tour and discussion of legislation vital to you and your patients. These tours are an effective way to make a lasting personal impression on your legislators by demonstrating the role you play in the community and health care system. Get tips for scheduling a pharmacy visit with your members of Congress. NCPA has a sample invitation you can customize, or you can contact Michael Rule at (703) 838-2671 or michael.rule@ncpanet.org for more information.

News From MPhA

PATF Plans Legislative Strategy for 2018

The Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF), which consists of MPhA, the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, held a strategic planning retreat on June 26. The group reaffirmed its commitment to advocating for patient direct access to medications through pharmacists in the four medication categories included in Minnesota HF 1140. These categories, where no medical diagnosis is necessary, are 1) Naloxone, 2) Travel medications, 3) Smoking replacement medications and products, and 4) self-administered contraceptives.

Minnesota News

Medical Cannabis Registration for PTSD Underway

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) reports that as of July 1, Minnesota patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can register to receive medical cannabis through the state’s medical cannabis program.

Patients certified by a health care provider as having PTSD can start receiving medical cannabis at patient cannabis centers starting August 1.

The first step for a patient seeking to participate in the program is to visit a health care practitioner — a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant — who can go to the MDH website and certify the patient has one or more qualifying conditions. Once a provider certifies a patient, he or she can register on the MDH website to receive medical cannabis at one of the state’s eight locations.

As with other conditions, the MDH Office of Medical Cannabis relies on the professional judgment of the certifying health care practitioner to determine whether a patient has PTSD.
Along with the addition of PTSD as a qualifying condition, the state program will add topical medications as an option. Minnesota’s cannabis manufacturers are developing cannabis patches, balms and lotions that are expected to be available later this year.
For more information, visit MDH’s Medical Cannabis website.

MDH is now accepting requests to add new qualifying medical conditions. MDH is authorized to add new qualifying conditions or delivery methods through a public petition process. MDH accepts these requests between June 1 and July 31 each year. Requests received outside of these dates will not be reviewed.

Those interested in submitting a petition must complete the Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program Petition to Add a Qualifying Medical Condition (PDF) or Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program Petition to Add an Approved Delivery Method form (PDF). The state’s Medical Cannabis Review Panel will report on the public health benefits and risks of any proposed medical conditions by November 1.


Karunya Kandimalla to Receive University of Iowa Genesis Award

MPhA member Karunya Kandimalla, PhD, will receive the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy’s Genesis Award for 2017. The award is presented to graduates of the past 15 years who have achieved early distinction in their field. Nominees include those who have made considerable contributions to the theory and practice of pharmacy or have demonstrated major accomplishments in a professional pharmacy practice or in pharmaceutical research and development. Recipients have also contributed truly exceptional service to their community, the college, the profession or the public.

Dr. Kandimalla is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutics. His research interests include delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents to the central nervous system, nanomedicine, cellular pharmacokinetics and protein biophysics.


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

Technicians: Get a Discount on Power-Pak Continuing Education — Earn Your Board-Required CE with Unlimited Two-Year Access

MPhA has entered a partnership with Power-Pak, one of the nation’s leading providers of continuing education for pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. MPhA pharmacy technician members receive a 12.5% discount off the Power-Pak CE Pharmacy Technician Library where you can earn your entire CE required by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy during the two-year access period.

Power-Pak’s pharmacy technician recertification courses were developed by educational specialists from Postgraduate Healthcare Education, Power-Pak C.E. in conjunction with faculty from leading colleges of pharmacy. The objectives for each T-designated course align with the core competencies listed in PTCB's Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination Blueprint. So if you are a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) these resources will allow you to meet your PTCB CE requirements as well.

Normally the two-year access fee is $39.95. There are more than 20 activities across topics from patient safety and new drugs to pharmacy calculations and drug storage. There are also live Webinars every month.

MPhA pharmacy technician members are able to access the library for $34.95. In addition, MPhA pharmacy technician members will receive a discount for the Power-Pak MTM Certificate Training Course for Pharmacy Technicians — $24.95 rather than the $29.95 regular fee.

National News

U.S. Senate Letter on Retail Pharmacy Pilot Garners Support

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, June 30: A letter led by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) was sent in late June to Defense Secretary James Mattis encouraging his agency to enact the pharmacy pilot program that was included in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The pilot program allows the Department of Defense (DoD) to access lower pricing for prescriptions dispensed at retail pharmacies.

If authorized by the Secretary, this pilot would reduce prescription costs for the DoD, expand TRICARE beneficiary choice and access to prescription drugs at retail pharmacies, and streamline DoD administrative and prescription drug rebate processes. The letter was also signed by Senators James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Luther Strange (R-Ala.) Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Robert Casey (D-Pa.).

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
  • Diana Langworthy, PharmD, BCPS, University of Minnesota: Post-Bariatric Surgery Absorption Issues
  • Sara Drake, RPh, MPH, MBA, Mercer LLC: Medicaid Overview and Role in U.S. Health Care
  • Brent Thompson, PharmD, FirstLight; Dave Hoang, PharmD, MBA, Minnesota Department of Human Services; Andy Skoogman, Minnesota Chiefs of Police; Angela Behrens, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office; Jeff Lindoo, RPh, MPhA Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair; Buck Humphrey, PATF Lobbyist: Addressing Minnesota’s Opioid Issue
  • Jean Moon, PharmD, BCACP, University of Minnesota: Precepting Millennials

Register Online

Did You Know?

Soaring Price of Insulin Leaves Diabetes Patients with Few Good Choices

From Star Tribune, July 3: Thousands of people with diabetes in Minnesota are struggling to afford insulin, the price of which has more than tripled in the last decade. The costs of other drugs and supplies that people with diabetes need have increased as well.

"It absolutely has gotten worse year after year," said Diane Alexander, pharmacy director at Children's Hospitals and Clinics. "It is very uncomfortable for us because we don't set the prices. We are caught between dispensing the drug and the patient who can't afford it."
Although low-income people with diabetes on Medical Assistance, Minnesota's Medicaid program, are often insulated from price increases, older adults on Medicare can run into financial problems when they hit the "doughnut hole," or coverage gap, in drug coverage. Additionally, people on commercial insurance not only have to make costly copayments at the beginning of the year until their insurance kicks in, but are sometimes forced to change brands of insulin as insurance companies change their lists of approved medications as part of cost-saving measures.

Clinics and hospitals in Minnesota are trying to help patients who are struggling with the costs. Most manufacturers offer patient assistance programs, but they often have strict eligibility requirements. While some patients are encouraged to buy a cheaper, generic form of the older type of insulin, physicians say it is not as effective as newer forms.

Read the full article.