MPhA News

Small Doses

November 3, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Board Member Sarah Anderson and pharmacist Nicole DeSchepper recently participated in an American Pharmacists Month event at RedBrick Health. Sarah and Nicole had a pharmacy trivia game where people could win a coffee shop gift card, pill-organizer key chains for people to take home for themselves or a loved one, a consultation room available to provide one-on-one consultation and medication reviews, and handouts including a medication tracker sheet, information on common OTC and herbals/vitamins/supplements, and the Talk Before You Take brochure that highlights questions people should ask their doctor before starting a new medication.

MPhA members Tony Olson, Lee Mork and Anita Aderinkomi and President-Elect Jason Varin met this week to make plans for the Professional and Organizational Affairs Committee. Great camaraderie, great planning — and a chance encounter with Lowell Anderson!

Editor’s Note: During our Annual Learning Networking Event in September, MPhA made note of Mission Moments — those times when a member clearly exemplified our mission to advance patient care. As we move through the year, we hope to showcase these Mission Moments as part of Small Doses. If you have an example to share, please send it to Laurie Pumper lauriep@mpha.org.

Minnesota News

Fairview Home Infusion Reaches Milestone

Fairview Home Infusion recently reached an important milestone: a patient census of 1,000 IV patients. This achievement was made even more special by the exceptional work the Fairview Pharmacy Services team did to make the patient—or rather, the patients—feel comfortable and cared for. Nancy Larkey and her 11-year-old daughter Rachel both have Fabry disease, a rare genetic disorder caused by a defective gene. Nancy gave a special request to Fairview Home Infusion: she wanted to receive her treatment together with Rachel.

Whereas many infusion centers offer either pediatric or adult infusions, Fairview Home Infusion serves people of all ages and arranged for Rachel and Nancy to receive their first treatments side by side. www.fairviewhomeinfusion.org


Prof. Elmquist Presents Keynote at SDSU

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Professor William Elmquist (and MPhA member) was the keynote speaker at the 27th Annual Pharmacy Fall Convocation at South Dakota State University. South Dakota Public Broadcasting recorded the talk, “Targeted Central Nervous System Delivery to Treat Brain Tumors: Many Challenges, Many Opportunities.” Thanks to Dr. Elmquist for sharing a message of hope! Listen to a recording of the talk.



MNsure Open Enrollment Period

The open enrollment period for MNsure runs from Nov. 1, 2017, to Jan. 14, 2018. Patients can compare medical and dental plans, learn about financial help and get information about how to choose the right plan for them at the MNsure website.

At the national level, Healthcare.gov opened on Wednesday, November 1. Because of repeal efforts, there’s been a lot of confusion over whether Open Enrollment is happening this year, so please take this opportunity to educate your patients. Get America Covered has created a social media toolkit (with Facebook and Twitter posts and graphics).

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 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

New Immunization Recommendations from ACIP

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently voted on vaccination recommendations for shingles (herpes zoster) vaccines and mumps-containing vaccines.

Shingles Vaccine

ACIP voted that herpes zoster subunit (HZ/su or Shingrix®) vaccine is:

  • recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications for immunocompetent adults aged 50 years and older,
  • recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications for immunocompetent adults who previously received zoster vaccine live (ZVL or Zostavax®),
  • preferred over Zoster Vaccine Live (ZVL) for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications.

Mumps-containing Vaccine

ACIP voted that persons previously vaccinated with two doses of a mumps-containing vaccine* who are identified by public health as at increased risk for mumps because of an outbreak should receive a third dose of a mumps-containing vaccine to improve protection against mumps disease and related complications. *As stated in Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps, 2013: Summary Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP); wording includes MMR and MMRV.

Once approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the shingles and mumps vaccination recommendations will be published in the MMWR, at which time the recommendations will become official CDC policy. Once published in the MMWR, CDC will add shingles and mumps vaccination information and educational materials to CDC’s website and in other communication channels.


Pharmacy Organizations Support Federal Bill to Battle Opioid Crisis

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Oct. 29: The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on Oct. 25 on federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) joined the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP), American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) in submitting a statement for the record at the hearing encouraging the committee to pass H.R. 3991, the Expanded Access to Opioid Abuse Treatment Act of 2017, a bill that would enable pharmacists to obtain a Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) waiver in the same manner as physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

The committee heard from witnesses from the FDA, DEA, SAMHSA, CDC, and NIH on agency efforts to address the crisis and to implement the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act. Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) detailed the committee’s ongoing bipartisan investigation into alleged pill dumping in West Virginia and chided the DEA for its lack of cooperation in providing documents and answers to the committee on shipments from distributers. Committee members focused on a range of problems contributing to and possible solutions for the crisis; of note, Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) raised the need for non-opioid alternatives to pain treatment and the incentive that PBMs have created through greater reimbursement for opioids over non-addictive alternatives.


President Declares Opioid Crisis a Health Emergency

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Oct. 29: President Trump has directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Specifically, this declaration directs executive departments and agencies to “exercise all appropriate emergency authorities, as well as other relevant authorities, to reduce the number of deaths and minimize the devastation the drug demand and opioid crisis inflicts upon American communities.”

The declaration allows expanded access to telemedicine services, including remote prescribing of medicine used for substance abuse or mental health treatment, and allows HHS to “more quickly make temporary appointments of specialists with the tools and talent needed to respond effectively” to the emergency. In addition, the White House indicates the declaration “allows for shifting of resources within HIV/AIDS programs to help people eligible for those programs receive substance abuse treatment, which is important given the connection between HIV transmission and substance abuse.” NCPA has addressed a number of actions pharmacists may take to help combat the opioid crisis with Congress, HHS, and the President, including support for the utilization of medication-assisted treatment programs. As the implementation of this declaration takes form, NCPA will continue to look for opportunities to promote pharmacists' services to combat this important issue.

MPhA Events

Register Now: Collaborative Continuing Education Program with AADE-MN

Antidiabetic Medications and the Heart: Help or Hindrance? Featuring Sean Stewart, PharmD, BCACP, CLS, Park Nicollet Medication Management Pharmacist

Please join us again this year as we continue the partnership with the Minnesota Chapter of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE-MN). The event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, beginning with social time, networking and dinner (5-6:30 p.m.) and program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The program will be live at the Ewald Conference Center, 1000 Westgate Drive, St. Paul, MN 55114 in the University Enterprise Laboratory (UEL) building. Get all the details and register now!

This program is approved for 1.0 Pharmacist Continuing Education Credit through ACPE. Learners will become more knowledgeable about diabetes medications and their cardiovascular impacts to better meet the everyday challenges seen in the practice of DSME/S. Participants will be able to: Describe the relationship between glycemic control and cardiovascular outcomes; review cardiovascular effects of the established antidiabetic agents—metformin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, and insulin; summarize recent cardiovascular outcome trials of newer antidiabetic agents—DPP4 inhibitors, GLP-1agonists, and SGLT2 inhibitors; and apply the available data on cardiovascular efficacy and safety of all the diabetes medications to a patient case, to then be able to identify potential patients that may benefit from certain antidiabetic medications.

AADE-MN is handling all registration for the event through its page. MPhA Members should enter in code: MPhA to receive complimentary attendance. When registering, you will see several remote locations across the state; MPhA members are welcome to attend, although MPhA will not have representatives onsite. There is also an option to view this presentation live through the AADE Adobe Room Platform, and MPhA members are welcome to utilize this as well. Special thanks to AADE-MN for co-hosting this event this year!


Join Us Next Week: Duluth Area Pharmacists/MPhA Town Hall

Tuesday, November 7, 5 p.m. CST

Please join the Duluth Area Pharmacists and MPhA for an advocacy update and a lively discussion with Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force Lobbyist Buck Humphrey. Buck will share Minnesota’s advocacy plans for the next session and he has inviting some area legislators to join. So far, we have confirmed that Rep. Jennifer Schultz plans to attend. Our evening will close with an interactive Town Hall discussion with MPhA President Elect Jason Varin and Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig. This is your chance to mingle with peers and have your voice heard!

Meal is on your own; CE is free for MPhA members.
Location: Pickwick Restaurant and Pub, Duluth

Register Online


Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: The Pharmacist’s Role in Preventing Opioid Overdoses

Wednesday, November 15, 11:30 a.m. CST

Please join MPhA for our next Virtual Coffee Break Webinar. Heather Blue, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, will discuss the various roles that pharmacists can play in preventing opioid overdoses. This includes naloxone education and dispensing through the Minnesota Opiate Antagonist Protocol, controlled substance disposal and Minnesota's Syringe Access Initiative. Professor Blue and colleague, Laura Palombi, PharmD, have been actively surveying Minnesota pharmacists about the roles they currently and plan to play with regard to the naloxone protocol. You’ll hear the latest about this effort and be able to map a plan for your effort after this webinar.

About Our Speaker: Heather Blue, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She completed her PharmD at the University of Minnesota in 2007 as part of the first graduating class on the Duluth campus. She completed a PGY-1 residency at Allina Health Mercy and Unity hospitals. After residency, she spent 8 years as a clinical pharmacist at Mercy hospital. Heather also worked as the pharmacist consultant for Genevive, formerly Geriatric Services of Minnesota. She joined the College of Pharmacy faculty in Spring 2016. Her current research is based on her clinical practice as she implements pharmacy services in the emergency department at St. Luke’s Hospital Duluth and increases education of opioid overdose prevention in the emergency department, the pharmacy curriculum and the community.

Members attend FREE. Non-members are $25.


Join Us Next Week: Grand Rapids Area Pharmacists/MPhA Town Hall

Thursday, November 9, 5:30-8 p.m. CST

Come join your colleagues in Northern Minnesota for a chance to network, learn and share with one another while having your voices heard! GRAPh’s host and President is MPhA member Heather Bibeau of Big Forks Valley Health System. You’ll have the opportunity to mix, mingle and visit with exhibitors while sharing fellowship before the dinner program. We are pleased to announce that MPhA’s Denise Frank will bring her considerable expertise to share on the current status of USP Chapter 800 and what that means for you and your organizations. Denise will share the history and content of the NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs (HDs) in Healthcare Settings, and USP Chapter 800 as it applies to all pharmacies. She will also discuss the requirements and process for a pharmacy to list HDs in stock and for performing a risk assessment. Finally, the physical requirements of the pharmacy personal protective equipment (PPE), and staff training requirements will be presented. MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig will lead the Town Hall discussion. You’ll hear from Dave Johnson, RPh, retail pharmacy manager at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, about efforts to implement the naloxone protocol. You can also share your thoughts and ideas for both future GRAPh and MPhA events. We look forward to seeing you there!

Location: Timberlake Lodge, 144 SE 17th St., Grand Rapids, Minn.
Members attend FREE. Non-members are $15.

Register Online


Save the Date: Midwest Pharmacy Expo

February 16-18, 2018 • Des Moines, IA

The 2018 Midwest Pharmacy Expo will be held on February 16-18, 2018, at the Holiday Inn Des Moines Airport Conference Center. The full agenda is still taking shape, but some details http://www.midwestpharmacyexpo.com/ are already available! MPhA works with state pharmacy associations from across the region to present this event.

Did You Know?

FDA Issues Guidance on Prescribing Biosimilars

On October 23, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance regarding biosimilars and interchangeable products. Learn more at the FDA website.


Twenty Questions to Start Conversations with Patients

American Pharmacists Month may have concluded, but the materials continue to be relevant. The American Pharmacists Association offers 20 questions that pharmacists can ask to open the lines of communication to build relationships with patients and achieve greater medication adherence. Among the questions:

  • What medication were you prescribed, and what does it look like?
  • How and when should you take this medication?
  • When will the medication start working?

See all 20 questions.