MPhA News

Small Doses

December 1, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Almost 20 people gathered last night at the New Ulm Country Club for MPhA’s most recent Town Hall. The social hour at the beginning is always a popular part of these events, giving friends from around the region the opportunity to catch up and to visit with our generous sponsors from Boehringer Ingleheim, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, AstraZeneca, Pharmacists Mutual and Thrifty White Pharmacies. We then settled down to a delicious dinner and program on the current state of affairs with DIRs and the long-term vision on how we may adapt to the ever-changing environment, followed by a town hall discussion on issues that are important to our members in Southwestern Minnesota.

We thank Vern Peterson and Reid Horning for all of their work in organizing and publicizing this event, and again thank our generous sponsors for their financial support.

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

Register Now for 13th Annual Pharmacy Gala

Proceeds Provide Scholarships to COP Students

This gala is hosted each year to remember and raise scholarship money in honor of Michelle Mentzer, a student who passed away from leukemia in 2005 during her first year of pharmacy school. The money raised from the gala, as well as other donations, is put toward the Michelle Mentzer Scholarship, which was started by her classmates nearly 13 years ago. This scholarship is awarded each year in the spring semester to a pharmacy student whom an outside selection committee believes exemplifies outstanding qualities similar to Michelle. With fundraising efforts from all past Galas contributing to an endowment fund, we were able to award the last three recipients with a $1000 scholarship. RSVP now!

The Gala is a formal event that will be held at a new location this year — the Graduate Hotel (newly renovated Commons Hotel), located across the street from Weaver Densford Hall. The address is 615 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. It will be held on Saturday, January 20 from 8:00 pm to midnight. A brief recognition ceremony will be held at 9:15 pm, so please be in attendance for this! There will be a very popular local DJ, appetizers, a cash bar, dancing, and fun all night!

Tickets are $25 for students and $30 for faculty, alumni and friends.

Because the Gala happens soon after winter break, the Pay It Forward committee is selling tickets before break, until Monday, Dec. 11. If you are a Duluth student or a PD4, you may pay at the Gala. Payments can be made in cash or check (written to “Pay It Forward”).


MDH Adds New Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis Program

From Minnesota Department of Health News Release, Nov. 30: Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger has announced the decision to add autism spectrum disorders and obstructive sleep apnea as new qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program.

“Any policy decisions about cannabis are difficult due to the relative lack of published scientific evidence,” said Commissioner Ehlinger. “However, there is increasing evidence for potential benefits of medical cannabis for those with severe autism and obstructive sleep apnea.”

This year, as in years past, the Minnesota Department of Health used a formal petitioning process to solicit public input on potential qualifying conditions. Throughout June and July, Minnesotans were invited to submit petitions to add qualifying conditions. The process included public comments, a citizens’ review panel and a set of research summaries for each condition prepared by Minnesota Department of Health staff.
Read the full news release.


UMN COP Student Published in APhA Student Magazine

Megan Olander, a second year student at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, has written an article published in the Student Pharmacist publication of the American Pharmacists Association. She writes, “Pharmacists are in a unique position to implement pharmacogenomics into practice and MTM is an ideal setting for implementing it.” Read her full article.


Use Your Member Benefits

Complimentary On-Demand Virtual Coffee Break Webinars Available to MPhA Members

If you missed our November Virtual Coffee Break with Heather Blue on the pharmacist’s role in preventing opioid overdoses, you can listen online whenever you have time! MPhA offers monthly educational webinars that provide you with education from experts on best practices, trends, effective solutions, and quality resources to help you advance your career as a pharmacy professional. E-learning is ideal for those who are unable to travel long distances for continuing education programs. The program provides opportunities to obtain CEs from the comfort of your home or office with both live and on-demand options. There are enough programs in the archives to earn your entire 2-year pharmacist CE requirement — at no cost!

Registration Fees

  • FREE for MPhA Members, including Pharmacy Technicians, students and residents
  • $25 per person per webinar for Non-members

National News

Schimmel Named Executive Director/CEO at PTCB

From Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Nov. 27: The Board of Governors of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) has announced that William Schimmel will become PTCB's new Executive Director and CEO on December 14, succeeding Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh, Colonel, USAF (Ret.), who announced his departure in August for a new career. Mr. Schimmel has been PTCB Associate Executive Director (AED) for the past 7 years, serving as Interim Executive Director for 5 months from 2011 to 2012.

"PTCB is excited to welcome Bill as our new Executive Director and CEO. Bill has a unique knowledge of PTCB, expertise building consensus among our stakeholders, and an outstanding record of leadership. There's no better candidate to lead PTCB as it embarks on its next exciting chapter," said Larry Wagenknecht, RPh, Chair of the PTCB Board of Governors and CEO of the Michigan Pharmacists Association. "Bill demonstrates unwavering devotion to our mission, and the energy, enthusiasm, intellect, and vision to carry PTCB forward."

"It is a privilege to have this opportunity to lead PTCB. Our organization serves as a catalyst to achieving a higher level of patient care and safety," Schimmel said. "Together with the Board, and PTCB's talented and dedicated staff, we look forward to forging even stronger relationships with stakeholders while building on our culture of excellence. PTCB is trusted and guided by the pharmacy profession, and we'll continue to respond with rigorous programs and high standards. Our data-driven mentality ensures our programs certify qualified, competent pharmacy technicians who strengthen the pharmacy team."


HIV Testing Frequency and Time from Infection to Diagnosis Improve

From CDC Website, Accessed Nov. 29: HIV is being diagnosed sooner after infection than previously reported, with an estimated median of 3 years from infection to diagnosis in 2015, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report also noted that 85% of people living with HIV were aware of their infection. About 40% of new HIV infections originate from people who do not know they are infected, CDC estimated. Read the full news release.


DEA Mandates Reduction in Opioid Manufacturing for 2018

From American Pharmacists Association Focus newsletter, Nov. 28: DEA’s finalized annual aggregate production quotas (APQs) for 2018 mandate a 20% reduction in the amount of opiate and opioid medication—including oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, codeine, meperidine, and fentanyl—that may be manufactured in 2018. Quotas are aimed at preventing a diversion while simultaneously satisfying annual needs.

APQs establish the total amount of opioids and other controlled substances necessary to meet the estimated medical, scientific, research, industrial, and export needs for 2018 and to maintain adequate reserve stocks. DEA says 2018’s cuts are a response to reduced demand.

MPhA Events

Register Now for December Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: Medicare Part D Enhanced MTM

Wednesday, December 20, 11:30 a.m. CST

Please join MPhA for another hot topic in a Virtual Coffee Break Webinar. Joshua Johnson, PharmD, RPh, will explain why CMS is offering stand-alone Part D plans the chance to innovate MTM, with the goal of improving clinical outcomes while driving down A & B medical costs. The BlueCross BlueShield Northern Plains Alliance is one of the plan participants in this 5-year pilot. Participants will be able to describe the CMS pilot; list the goals of CMS for the pilot; understand the medication risk stratification; amd describe the MedicareBlue Rx program.

About Our Speaker: Joshua Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Biology in 2004, and then went on to obtain his PharmD from Ferris State University in Michigan in 2008. Upon graduating, he returned to Minnesota where he practiced as a community pharmacist for 8 years, having already spent 3 years as a technician and 4 years as an intern in community pharmacy. In 2016, he was hired by ClearStone Solutions, a Part D Plan administrator, to run the 5-year CMS Enhanced MTM Pilot on behalf of the BlueCross BlueShield Northern Plains Alliance in Medicare Part D Region 25 (IA, MN, MT, ND, NE, SD, & WY). He has presented information on Enhanced MTM to national pharmacy organizations as well as several pharmacy schools within the 7 states of Region 25.

The Webinar is complimentary to MPhA members (including students and residents) thanks to an educational grant from CoverMyMeds.
Non-members are $25.


Save the Date: Complexities of Prior Authorizations — A Panel Perspective

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Please join MPhA for a Town Hall on a very hot topic — prior authorizations. The event will be held at the Continuing Education & Conference Center on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. Watch for more details soon!

Did You Know?

“A Pharmacist Is” Campaign Aims for Greater Recognition of Pharmacists’ Work

Pharmacists deserve to be recognized for the important role they play in patient care. As part of a continuing effort to increase awareness and celebrate the pharmacy profession, Pharmacy Times and Specialty Pharmacy Times have launched #APharmacistIs. The goal is for pharmacists to share photos and/or short videos doing what they love — either at work or outside. Learn more at the Pharmacy Times website.