MPhA News

Small Doses

February 3, 2017
Breaking News
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

CMS Posts Medicare Part D/DIR Fact Sheet

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted a fact sheet about Medicare Part D – Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR). The fact sheet provides information about trends in DIR, including charts and links to additional information. In recent years, CMS has observed a notable growth in DIR fees collected and reported by Part D sponsors.

Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force Report

The 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature is off to a fast start. The House, Senate and Governor agreed on an emergency health care premium relief package, Health & Human Services (HHS) reform proposals are being introduced on a daily basis and all four HHS legislative committees are holding hearings. The Governor released his budget proposal last week, and the Republicans are responding with their own budget numbers and through the budget process hearings, which are set by the Chairs.

Representing the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF), Buck Humphrey and Todd Hill, both with Capitol Hill Strategies, along with other pharmacy ambassadors (including MPhA Past President Jeff Lindoo) have been making visits to House and Senate members plus members of the governor’s staff who will be key to introducing and passing our agenda.

PATF representatives will also meet with the OB-GYNs, medical manufacturers and other stakeholders to inform them about our agenda and ask for their support. Buck Humphrey is working with MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig and her very capable group of UM pharmacy students to complete the National Governors Association (NGA) legislative scope of practices change tool. The pharmacy students are a great help in this effort. The House HHS policy committee held an entire hearing this past week about the use of the tool for scope of practices proposed changes.

The PATF has also been working with Minnesota Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Cody Wiberg in a technical advisory capacity to draft our legislative language. Rep. Roz Peterson's office is helping with the Revisor's office to draft the legislation. This bill language can be modified if need be throughout the legislative process. Watch for more information soon.

Left to right: MPhA Student Member Elizabeth Ebensperger, MPhA President-Elect Michelle Aytay, RPh, CDE, Representative Roz Peterson, and MPhA Member Julie Freeman, PharmD. MPhA members met with Rep. Peterson to thank her for her willingness to serve as chief author of the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force bill.

News from MPhA

Support the MPhA Advocacy Fund

As previously reported in Small Doses, Buck Humphrey has been retained under contract to proactively promote the advocacy agenda of the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) through the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature. This financial lobbying commitment is being shared equally by MPhA and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Because of the good-faith commitment we have made, we need a commitment from you! Please participate in the education of our citizens and our legislators — and contribute financially to our important work! Read more and donate now.

Call for MPhA Committee Members!

Want to provide your input on issues important to you and your practice? Want to network and meet new colleagues? By participating in MPhA committees, you can do all this and more! You’ll also have an opportunity to play a key role in shaping MPhA’s direction and helping to advance priorities that members identify to support Minnesota pharmacists in advancing patient care. Members from all practice settings and all parts of the state are welcome. All meetings include a call-in option so you can participate by phone without the need to travel.

If you are interested in participating on a committee, please fill out our volunteer form with your information. Committee meetings are being scheduled now through the end of May. Click on the links below for details on how often each committee meets and for how long, so that you can evaluate where you can best contribute.

2016-2017 Committees include:

Get additional information on the topics covered by each committee. You must be current on your MPhA dues to participate. Thank you for volunteering your time and for your continued support of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association!

Find more information about MPhA committees.

Minnesota News

12th Annual Pharmacy Gala

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy invites pharmacists to celebrate the 12th Annual Pharmacy Gala on Saturday, February 11, 2017, beginning at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Northstar Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

The Pharmacy Gala commemorates a first year pharmacy student, Michelle Mentzer, who passed away from leukemia in 2005. The money raised from the gala goes toward the Michelle Mentzer Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a pharmacy student who exemplifies outstanding qualities. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit the COP website.

Use Your Member Benefits

Get Smart about Your Student Loan Repayment Options: MPhA Membership Benefit

When most pharmacists begin practicing, they’ve incurred steep education debt. When pharmacist borrowers learn about loan relief programs and correctly implement them, they reduce a major source of stress and save thousands of dollars on their student loans. MPhA is partnering with Navigate, LLC for student loan expert advice.

Through this benefit you will discover:

  • Is Public Service Loan Forgiveness right for me?
  • Will the new Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan lower my payments?
  • Does private consolidation and refinance make sense for my situation?

Schedule your student loan consultation today. MPhA members receive over 50% off regular rates. A regular public service loan consult would be $1,000 — but MPhA members are able to receive this consult for $395. A regular loan refinance consult would be $500 but MPhA members are able to receive this service for $195. That’s a savings of $305-$605 and provides an incredible return on your MPhA membership investment. Satisfaction is guaranteed!

Navigate’s principal, Joy Sorenson Navarre, is a national expert on student loan management who consults individually with physicians and pharmacists. She is a popular speaker at residency programs, medical schools and hospitals. Her articles appear in journals and websites throughout the medical community.

Schedule your phone appointment today. Get smart about your student loan repayment options and take advantage of this important MPhA member benefit!

Compliance Readiness Tools

Check out InfiniTrak’s Podcast Series about the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

The latest episode of the Pharmacy Podcast brings you more Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) education with InfiniTrak’s Denise Garcia sharing her latest insights on the law and how InfiniTrak brings a cost-effective software solution to track and trace requirements that put you in the driver’s seat, controlling your information, ensuring your compliance, and freeing up your time to spend with patients.

Listen now!

MPhA has partnered with InfiniTrak, the premiere cloud-based software-as-a-service DSCSA compliance solution to ensure you have the latest information regarding the law and the opportunity to have access to their affordable DSCSA Compliance solution at an additional discount. CLICK HERE to register today or use Affiliation Code 7624e when subscribing. For more information on the DSCSA, be sure to check out MPhA’s on-demand Virtual Coffee Break Webinar on Fakes and Frauds in the Pharmacy (another free benefit of MPhA membership!).

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

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 an pharmacy professional. E-learning is ideal for those who are unable to travel or are looking for educational opportunities in between conferences. The program provides opportunities to obtain CEs from the comfort of your home or office with both live and on-demand options. View the archive. These webinars are free for MPhA members — another benefit of membership!

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

NCPA Supports Bill to Make OTC Drugs More Accessible

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) joined the Health Choices Coalition in support H.R. 394, the Restoring Access to Medication Act that was introduced by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ron Kind (D-WI). The bill seeks to restore OTC medications to full tax-preferred status and help create efficiencies and improve access to care.

Nominations Now Open for the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit Excellence Awards

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) is now soliciting nominations for the 2017 Immunization Excellence Awards. These prestigious awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions towards improving vaccination rates within their communities during 2016. The awards focus on individuals and organizations that exemplify the meaning of the "immunization neighborhood" (collaboration, coordination, and communication among immunization stakeholders dedicated to meeting the immunization needs of the patient and protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases).

The national winner in each category will be invited to present their program at the 2017 NAIIS meeting, to be held May 9-11 in Atlanta, Ga. The deadline for receipt of nominations is February 24. Get more information and make a nomination.

NCPA Requests Action Today to Protect Compounding

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) asks that pharmacists contact your U.S. Representative NOW (you can use the “Find Officials” tool on the NCPA Legislative Action Center to find contact information) and urge them to sign onto a letter led by Representatives Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to rescind a final rule forbidding 503A pharmacies from compounding for office use. FDA has finalized guidance that would limit office use compounding to 503B pharmacies. It’s imperative that FDA hear from members of Congress that this guidance be rescinded and reissued to include 503A pharmacies. Urge your Representative to sign this letter because:

  1. It was the clear intent by Congress to allow 503A pharmacies to compound for office use when it passed the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA).
  2. Limiting office use compounding to 503B pharmacies creates barriers to patient access

The deadline for Representatives to sign onto this letter is today, February 3. Please have your Representative’s office contact Luci Arveseth in Congressman Stewart’s office at to sign onto the office use letter.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Pharmacy Legislative Day!

Pharmacy Legislative Day Testimonial

Don't Forget Your White Coat!

Immediately following meetings with legislators, all attendees will gather in the Capitol Rotunda for a “Paint it White” group photo. It’s awesome to see so many pharmacists, easily identified by their white coats, throughout the Capitol.

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is one of our most popular advocacy and educational events all year! Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, at the newly renovated Best Western Capitol Ridge, just a few short blocks from the Minnesota Capitol. Our excellent line-up of speakers includes Heidi Ecker, Director of Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Whether you are new to advocacy and politics or an experienced pharmacy advocate, this event is for you! With almost two weeks to go, we already have nearly 150 attendees registered (the record is in sight)!

Sponsor Pharmacy Legislative Day

Register Online

Join Us at Midwest Pharmacy Expo!

This year’s Midwest Pharmacy Expo agenda features up to 15.5 hours of the high-quality, live CPE that Expo is known for, including pharmacy law and patient safety topics. Recently announced: Tom Vilsack, former Iowa governor and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will speak at the 2017 Expo Political Leadership Reception! During his time as governor, Vilsack worked closely with pharmacists to expand access to pharmacist immunizations and MTM services. Be sure to join us for the Political Leadership Reception when you register for the Expo! If you’ve registered for Expo already, please contact Nicole Straker at to purchase a ticket for the reception.

Expo starts with the Ambulatory Care Advancement Conference on Friday, February 17, 2017, discussing hot topics and emerging issues facing ambulatory care practice and promote forward-thinking pharmacy practice models that integrate pharmacists on the ambulatory healthcare team.

Expo Saturday will feature a keynote by Bob Chiusano, author of Mediocrity is Not an Option, to get the day off to an inspiring start! After that, enjoy five breakout sessions featuring 3 tracks for pharmacists: Current News Headlines, Clinical Pearls, and Management.

Expo will wrap up on Sunday with long-time favorites New Drug Update and Gamechangers with a review of compliancy issues sandwiched between them.
All of this plus the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the Midwest! See the full agenda and register today!

Register Now for MPhA’s Next Virtual Coffee Break

Anticoagulation Update

Join us on Wednesday, February 22, for a webinar presentation (free to all MPhA members!) on anticoagulation. Speaker Kiersten Anderson, PharmD, BCPS, Senior Medical Science Liaison with The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson, will review the history of anticoagulation, the most recent guidelines and data on treating patients with atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism.

Register Online

Register Now for APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program

Join us on Sunday, April 30, for this full-day training program! This innovative, intensive, and practice-based continuing pharmacy education is based on national educational standards for immunization training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program is designed to educate pharmacists about the professional opportunities for vaccine advocacy and administration. This practice-based curriculum represents a fusion of science and clinical pharmacy. The program, which emphasizes a health care team approach, seeks to foster the implementation of interventions that will promote disease prevention and public health.

Register Online

Register Now for APhA’s MTM Certificate Training Program

Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services

Join us on Thursday, May 4, for a full-day training program that qualifies you to register as a provider with Minnesota Medicaid and conduct and receive payment for Medication Therapy Management services. The program will be held at the Ewald Conference Center, 1000 Westgate Dr., St. Paul.

Our facilitators will be Jordan Wolf, PharmD, Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, Consultant Pharmacist, Thrifty White Pharmacy, and Michelle A. Johnson, BCACP, Pharmacist, Fairview Pharmacy Services. APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services certificate training program has three components: online interactive self-study with assessment; the live seminar with online evaluation; and post-seminar case exercise. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all program components, including an evaluation. Register no later than April 1 to get started on the self-study portion of the program!

Register Online

Did you Know?

Is Rinsing Your Sinuses with Neti Pots Safe?

Nasal irrigation devices, such as neti pots, can be effective for allergies, sinus infections and other conditions. But they must be used and cleaned properly and only with specific types of water. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), improper use of these neti pots and other nasal rinsing devices can increase your risk of infection. Read the Consumer Update to learn more.

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