MPhA News

Small Doses

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

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act Introduced

Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) have introduced H.R. 1316, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act. The bill’s other original sponsors are Reps. Brian Babin (R-Texas), Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), and John Sarbanes (D-Md.).
The bill would:

  • Require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which serve TRICARE and the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) programs, to provide the same updates and disclosures to pharmacies for the maximum allowable costs (MAC) lists that are currently provided to pharmacies in Medicare Part D. These "MAC" lists determine generic reimbursements for pharmacies;
  • Set a standard for how frequently those lists are updated;
  • Prohibit sharing patient information with PBM-owned pharmacies (mail order and/or retail) unless a patient has chosen to fill that prescription there, and
  • Forbid PBMs from mandating patients use their affiliated pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association has announced strong support for the bill.

News from MPhA

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! Every member of the MPhA Board of Directors has contributed to the fund! Please join them — and contribute financially to our important work! Read more and donate now.

Minnesota News

Phi Lambda Sigma Hosts Leadership & Networking Symposium

Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS) invites pharmacists and pharmacy students to attend a Leadership and Networking Symposium on Saturday, April 1, at the Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. The event begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. The keynote will be presented by MPhA member Craig Else, Pharmacy Director at HealthEast. The purpose of this event is to connect students with PLS alumni and other leaders in our profession. There is no cost for pharmacists to attend this event; simply RSVP to Michelle Tran at or (763) 222-4762.

In Memoriam: Martin Erickson IV

Martin Erickson IV, son of MPhA Past President Martin A. Erickson III and grandson of long-time member Jeanne Erickson, passed away on Jan. 10 at the age of 35 as the result of sepsis related to paraplegia post-aorta surgery four years ago. Martin was a licensed paramedic and had practiced with Ringdahl EMS in Fergus Falls, Minn., and with AMR in Palm Springs, Calif. The Board and staff of MPhA extend our deepest sympathy to Past President Erickson and the entire family on this devastating loss.

A Celebration of Life is planned for March 4, 2017, at 10 a.m. at Mayflower Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 106 East Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis, Minn. 55419, with lunch, fellowship, an opportunity to view photographs, and story sharing to follow.

Before his paralysis, Martin enjoyed riding his motorcycle, having driven it from Palm Springs to the Gulf Coast and later up the Mississippi Valley to Minnesota; he had begun taking flying lessons, following his grandfather's, father's, and uncle Kirk's examples. He was a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (W0JFC, his Grandpa Erickson's former call). In spite of the paralysis, he maintained contacts with his many friends, including driving his pickup truck alone to a friend's wedding in San Diego, Calif., and back. He was kind, compassionate, a community builder, and intellectually curious, having pursued a wide range of academic subjects, from psychology to world religions. He planned to further his education by completing his BS, then a Physician's Assistant Master's degree, with a view to practicing in a psychiatric clinic.

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.

Have you visited the MPhA Career Center yet?

EMPLOYERS: Find Your Next Great Hire

  1. EMAIL your job to qualified pharmacy professionals
  2. PLACE your job in front of our highly qualified members
  3. SEARCH our résumé database of qualified candidates
  4. MANAGE jobs and applicant activity right on our site
  5. LIMIT applicants only to those who are qualified
  6. FILL your jobs more quickly with great talent

National News

First Draft ACA Repeal/Replacement Bill Surfaces

From National Community Pharmacy Association Advocacy Center Update: During the week of Feb. 20, a leaked draft House Republican bill circulated around Washington; it would dismantle ACA subsidies and scrap Medicaid expansion.

The document is more detailed than the outline that House leaders circulated before the recess, although NCPA expects several more drafts as lawmakers still disagree about several key issues, including Medicaid and the size and form of subsidies. The legislation will also be shaped by findings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) about the costs and federal deficit implications. Another sign of trouble with this draft is that the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees haven’t scheduled any markups of the legislation, despite Republican leaders’ statements that they would release more details right after the congressional recess.

Register for the NCPA Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In

From National Community Pharmacists 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 NCPA 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 us 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.

AACP Expresses Concern to Congressional Leaders

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy sent a letter to eight top congressional leaders on Feb. 28, expressing concern over reports that President Trump plans to propose drastic cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDF) funding so that defense spending can rise.

The letter states in part, “We must recognize and accept that a healthy, educated nation is an essential element of our national defense. Cutting the budgets of our federal public health agencies is counterproductive and will only lead to a nation that is unable to defend itself. Reducing non-defense discretionary funding by $54 billion translates to a 10% reduction across the board for the all federal public health agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Our nation’s capacity to respond to threats with the timely deployment of vaccines and other biomedical counter-measures will be seriously eroded if NIH funding is reduced.”

Read the full letter

MPhA Events

Register Now for the March MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Specialty Medications and Emerging Biosimilars

Join us on Wednesday, March 15, for a webinar presentation (free to all MPhA members!) with Tim Affeldt, PharmD, Director of Specialty/Infusion Operations at Fairview Pharmacy Services, LLC. In this webinar you will learn about the current specialty pharmacy marketplace, how specialty pharmacies are involved and the types of roles pharmacists play in a specialty pharmacy. Then you will learn about the current status of biosimilars in the market place including recent activities of the FDA and implications of biosimilars on pharmacists.

Registration Fees:

  • FREE for MPhA Members, including Pharmacy Technicians, students and residents
  • $25 Nonmember

Register Online

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

Join us on Saturday, 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

Save the Date!

2017 MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting
Tuesday, June 20 | Midland Hills Country Club

2017 MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event
September 7–8, 2017 | St. Paul RiverCentre

Did you Know?

Minnesota Ranked 3rd by U.S. News & World Report

From U.S. News & World Report: In an article that ranks the states on seven key measures, Minnesota is third (trailing only Massachusetts and New Hampshire). Minnesota comes in second among the states for opportunity, third for health care and fifth for infrastructure. Within the overall health care category, Minnesota ranks highly for many items — including low mortality rate, adult dental visits, health insurance enrollment and health care affordability.

Read the full report

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