MPhA News

Small Doses

February 17, 2017
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News from MPhA
Minnesota News
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National News
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Breaking News

Pharmacy Advocacy at Work at the Minnesota Legislature

Thanks to everyone who attended this week’s Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day on Feb. 15! We nearly set a new record for attendance. Participants met with many key legislators to explain the need for HF 1140. See the MPhA News section for photos and more information.

The week of Feb. 6 was spent finalizing the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) legislative language with Rep. Roz Peterson's office and the House Research and Revisor's staff. The "jacket" with the PATF legislative language/bill was walked around for signature with help from MPhA members and others.

Buck Humphrey and volunteers met with legislators to secure their sponsorship of our legislation and to further educate additional legislators about what we are seeking and what our legislation is trying to accomplish. On Feb. 10, Humphrey dropped our legislation, chief-authored by Rep. Roz Peterson, in the Hopper for introduction in General Orders on Feb. 13. Additional sponsors in the House include Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar), Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), Rep. Erin Murphy (D-St. Paul), Rep. Jennifer Schultz (D-Duluth), and Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria). Senators Tony Lourey (D-Duluth), Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) and (I can’t remember the name of the fourth senator) have agreed to serve as authors for our legislation in the Senate. If work goes as planned, our companion legislation will be introduced in the Senate by Feb. 20 or sooner.

During the week of Feb. 6, PATF representatives also met with Lauren Gilchrist, Gov. Dayton's Senior Health Policy aide, to discuss the PATF legislative proposal. While Gilchrist was noncommittal about whether the governor would support the legislation, she let us know she appreciated us briefing her and that the governor would consider signing into law the legislation should it reach his desk. We will continue to forward discussions with the Administration over the next several weeks.

A meeting with Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) lobbyists Dave Renner and Eric Dick went as anticipated, with the lobbyists saying they would most likely not be able to support legislation that calls specifically for pharmacist prescribing authority through a Board of Pharmacy (BOP) statewide protocol. They indicated they could potentially support a statewide protocol administered through the Department of Health for each medication category (this would include the Department's Chief Medical Officer — a doctor — signing off on the protocol). We will continue to seek common ground with MMA if possible. The MMA meeting also included discussion of a few recently introduced bills both groups could support. PATF members also had a conference call with a member of the Minnesota section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (MN-ACOG); we will continue to work with MN-ACOG as members have indicated a willingness to help.

During the week of Feb. 13, PATF representatives also planned to meet with the Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Nurse Practitioners and Minnesota Clear Way to brief them on the PATF bill and ask for support. In addition, PATF will continue to work with Cody Wiberg and the Minnesota BOP to further our legislative agenda.

COP Names Lynda S. Welage, PharmD, FCCP, as Dean

Dr. Lynda S. Welage has been named dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, effective July 31, 2017, and pending approval by the Board of Regents at its March meeting.

As dean, Welage will be chief executive officer and chief academic officer of the College of Pharmacy, a leader in innovative pharmacy education, research, policy, and practice development, offering professional and graduate programs on both the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Welage will provide strategic and intellectual leadership and administrative oversight for the school and will collaborate with other campus deans to advance the University's collective mission.

Welage brings to the University extensive experience as a collaborative academic leader and an accomplished translational researcher, educator, and pharmacy practitioner. Since 2011, she has been dean of the College of Pharmacy at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, where she is also professor of pharmacy practice and administrative sciences. Previously, she was a professor, clinical pharmacist, and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, having joined that faculty in 1988. Her varied leadership roles at Michigan included service as associate director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research.

News from MPhA

Another Successful Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day!

Nearly 200 pharmacists and pharmacy students packed the Best Western Capitol Ridge in St. Paul on Wednesday, Feb. 15 for the annual Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day, with nearly 100 participants making legislator visits! Our thanks to everyone who attended, as well as the organizers and sponsors who made it happen. To see more photos from the event, visit the MPhA Facebook page.

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy sent a large contingent of students from both campuses. Here are some of them, along with Dean Marilyn Speedie and MPhA President-Elect Michelle Aytay.

Several key legislators made time in their hectic schedules to meet with our members at Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day. L-R: PATF lobbyist Buck Humphrey, Sen. John Hoffman, President-Elect Michelle Aytay, Rep. Kelly Fenton, President Molly Ekstrand and Rep. Roz Peterson (chief author of HF 1140).

Rep. Dennis Smith (second from left) met with a group of pharmacists at his office.

Many thanks to our sponsors!

Partnering Organizations:

Minnesota Grocers Association | Minnesota Pharmacists Association | Minnesota Retailers Association | Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists

Platinum Sponsor: Pharmacists Mutual Companies

Gold Sponsors: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Company | National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)

Silver Sponsors: Cardinal Health

Exhibitors: Navigate, LLC | Novo Nordisk

Board of Directors Seeks Nominations for Directors

Volunteers are at the heart and soul of MPhA‘s work. Contributions of volunteer time and expertise support MPhA’s advocacy agenda and allow us to provide essential information and unique education through our annual conferences, regional town hall events and monthly webinars. Serving on the MPhA Board of Directors is an opportunity to provide leadership and direction to the association as we strive to meet our mission: Serving Minnesota pharmacists to advance patient care. With health reform changes being considered and our expanded scope of practice initiatives, it is a very exciting time to be at the table to discuss the changes that are occurring and help chart the course for the profession.

The MPhA Leadership Development Committee is looking for members who are interested to serve on the Board of Directors and begin a two-year term in June 2017. We need the best skills, passion, and varied perspectives to build an energetic, inclusive, and strategic governing Board.

If this interests you, please fill out the online Call for Nominations form.

The deadline for submitting your nomination is Friday, February 17.

Support the Pharmacy Advocacy Fund

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day really showcased the energy and forward motion that PATF lobbyist Buck Humphrey has brought to proactively promote pharmacy’s advocacy agenda 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! MPhA President Molly Ekstrand shared yesterday that every MPhA Board member has contributed to the fund! Please join them — and contribute financially to our important work! Read more and donate now.

Minnesota News

Minnesota Rural Health Association Policy Update

The Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA) will present a federal-state policy update conference call on Tuesday, Feb. 21, beginning at 11:30 a.m. With so many questions about what President Trump’s administration will do regarding rural health policies, it’s important to stay current. Presenters include Maggie Elehwany, VP of Government Affairs and Policy with the National Rural Health Association; Mark Schoenbaum, Director of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care; and MRHA Executive Director Steve Gottwalt. Send a message with subject line “MRHA Policy Update” to to register and receive call-in information.

In Memoriam: Martin Erickson IV

Martin Erickson IV, son of MPhA Past President Martin A. Erickson III, passed away on Jan. 10, following a battle with wound infection. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Mayflower Community Congregational Church, UCC, in Minneapolis. More information will be available soon from the Cremation Society of Minnesota, Edina.

In Memoriam: Merry “Beth” Lossing

Merry “Beth” Elizabeth Lossing, daughter of Dee Weaver, passed away at age 58 on Feb. 3, surrounded by family. A Celebration of Life will be held on March 11, 2017, at the Hope Interfaith Center in Mankato. The family prefers memorials to the ALS Association. For more information, visit

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!

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

Registration Now Open for NCPA Congressional Pharmacy Fly-in

From National Community Pharmacy Association Advocacy Center Update: This is a critical time for your pharmacy! Ensure community pharmacy is heard as lawmakers replace the Affordable Care Act. Join the National Community Pharmacy Association Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In April 26-27 in Washington, D.C. It’s much shorter and more affordable this year so you can come to Capitol Hill and advocate for your patients and your business. Help urge lawmakers to ban retroactive pharmacy DIR fees, support “any willing pharmacy” legislation, fight mandatory PBM mail order, and enact pharmacist provider status legislation. Register now online or by calling 1-800-544-7447 and make your voice heard in the halls of Congress.

Pharmacy Organizations Weigh in on Final FDA Biosimilar Naming Guidance

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the National Associations of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget expressing concerns regarding the impact that the FDA’s proposal for renaming all biological drugs will have on pharmacists and pharmacies, especially those in the community setting.

The Guidance document, Nonproprietary Naming of Biological Products, requires renaming every biological drug, including drugs that have been marketed for years under a different nonproprietary name, by assigning a random four-letter suffix for use in conjunction with the international nonproprietary name (INN). The organizations are concerned that their members will have to engage in unnecessary workload and workflow changes that will impact patient care. Our organizations request that the Office of Management and Budget suspend further implementation of the policy until its resulting patient impact and costs have been fully identified, analyzed and addressed.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Next Week’s MPhA 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 the new date, April 8, 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?

“NOverdose” Campaign Aims to Decrease Opioid Deaths in Hennepin County

From Minnesota Public Radio: Hennepin County officials and community organizations are launching an effort that they hope will reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths in the county this year.

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said opioids killed 144 people in the county in 2016. Those who died ranged in age from 16 to 98. "If we had 144 homicides in Hennepin County, people would be shouting," Stanek said. "What's the difference?"

Read the full report

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