MPhA News

Small Doses

March 10, 2017
Breaking News
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Affordable Care Act Replacement Bill Introduced

On March 6, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill, called the American Health Care Act, was introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan. It passed out of the House Ways and Means committee in the early morning of March 9 and passed out of the House Energy and Commerce committee following a 27-hour committee meeting, with hopes for a full House vote during the week of March 13. However, the bill faces opposition from many Republicans — who say it doesn’t go far enough — and from Democrats, who say it would leave too many people without health care insurance.

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued a statement on March 7, saying that staff are reviewing the provisions of the bill and will continue to engage with key committees and lawmakers regarding the priorities of independent community pharmacists.

Several organizations — including the American Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Children’s Hospital Association and AARP — have announced opposition to the bill because of concern that too many people would lose health coverage. Pharmaceutical companies have remained largely on the sidelines, according to an update on March 9 by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). APhA reported that America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance lobby, warned Republican leaders in a letter that plans to change Medicaid financing (among other things) could harm coverage and care.

MDH Invites Comment on Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program Recommendations

The Minnesota Department of Human Services invites the public to comment on the Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program Post-Acute Pain Opioid Prescribing Recommendations proposal and prescribing guide. Both documents are available on the DHS Opioid Prescribing Work Group (OPWG) website. The public comment period will end March 27, 2017. After the public comment period, the OPWG will review the comments submitted and determine whether to make changes to the recommendations.

Please submit comments to OPWG staff by 4 p.m. Central Time on March 27, 2017.

The OPWG is an advisory body of experts convened to forward DHS’ Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program (OPIP). The OPIP plays a crucial role in Minnesota’s response to the crisis of prescription opioid misuse and abuse, namely addressing inappropriate prescribing behavior among Minnesota health care providers. The work group will help shape the program by recommending statewide opioid prescribing protocols for various pain scenarios, such as acute, post-acute, and chronic pain. They will also recommend a quality improvement program within the Minnesota Health Care Programs (MHCP). The OPIP was created in 2015 at the direction of the governor and the Legislature, and the OPWG is convened through 2017.

Additional information is available on the OPWG website.

News from MPhA

MPhA Legislative Action Alert Succeeds!

On March 6, MPhA asked our members to contact Minnesota Representative Joe Schomacker to request a hearing this week on House File 1819. You called and emailed — and your voices were heard! We received assurances on Monday evening that the bill will get a hearing this week. Bills must receive at least one hearing by end of day today in order to continue on their way toward becoming law.

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

Marilyn Speedie Chosen as Hallie Bruce Memorial Lecture Award Recipient

Marilyn K. Speedie, PhD, is the 2017 Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) Hallie Bruce Memorial Lecture Award recipient. The Hallie Bruce Memorial Lecture Award is presented annually to an individual of high moral character, good citizenship and high professional ideals who has made significant contributions to the profession of pharmacy in Minnesota. These contributions may be in the form of sustained exemplary service in pharmacy, or a combination of accomplishments advancing the profession of pharmacy and, through it, humanity and public health.

Dr. Speedie will present her Hallie Bruce Memorial Lecture at the MSHP Annual Conference on Friday, April 7, at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn.

Randall Seifert to Receive Weaver Medal

Randall Seifert, PharmD, senior associate dean and professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, has been selected as the 2016 Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal recipient. The award is given annually to someone who supports the college and its students through service to education, the profession, research and the community.

A faculty member since 2005, Seifert was recognized for providing outstanding contributions to education, the pharmacy profession, research and the community. The Weaver Medal Reception honoring Seifert will be held in the Twin Cities on April 19, 4-6 p.m. at the Commons Hotel Pinnacle Ballroom; and in Duluth on April 26, 5-7 p.m. at Greysolon Ballroom in the Moorish Room. RSVP now. For more information, contact or 612-625-4657.

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. Download the flyer to get more information.

Thrifty White Pharmacy Named Most Innovative by OutcomesMTM

Each year, OutcomesMTM recognizes pharmacies and pharmacy chain organizations with exceptional performance in delivering MTM services to eligible patients. For 2016, Thrifty White Pharmacies received the award for most innovative MTM pharmacy. Among the Central Region Top MTM Centers, Shopko Pharmacy #603 was the best among Minnesota Pharmacies.

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!

Special Offer for MPhA Members: Individual Subscriptions to PharmacyLibrary Online References for You and Your Practice

MPhA is pleased to partner with the American Pharmacists Association to offer MPhA members a discounted subscription rate for the PharmacyLibrary — the leading collection of online pharmacy resources, updated monthly. The cost of even two of the more than 30 leading references for pharmacy are more than the discounted rate for the entire online library! A few of the references include:

  • Getting Started as a Pharmacy Faculty Member
  • Getting Started as a Pharmacy Manager
  • Getting Started as a Pharmacy Preceptor
  • Getting Started in a Pharmacy Residency
  • Handbook of Basic Pharmacokinetics, 7th edition

To take advantage of the special rate of $224.99 — a 40% discount off the regular rate — MPhA members should go to and enter promo code MPhA at checkout.

National News

Generic Drug Payment Bill Introduced in U.S. House

From National Community Pharmacy Association Advocacy Center Update: Bipartisan legislation to increase transparency in generic drug payments in taxpayer-funded federal health programs and preserve patient access to local community pharmacies was introduced in the House this week by Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) along with six of their colleagues. H.R. 1316, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, was introduced with very strong support including the chair and vice-chair of the Republican Conference and four members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Additional members of Congress who are original sponsors of H.R. 1316 include (in alphabetical order) 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.). We encourage MPhA members to contact your U.S. Representative to encourage them to sign on as a co-sponsor.

Download more information about the bill.

NCPA Submits Letter to FDA Requesting Guidance on Dispenser-to-Dispenser Transfers

From National Community Pharmacy Association Advocacy Center Update: On March 3, NCPA jointly submitted a letter with the American Pharmacists Association and MatchRx to FDA requesting guidance on dispenser-to-dispenser transfers per the “specific patient need provision” in the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which allows the transfer of drug products between dispensers to fill a prescription for an identified patient. NCPA and other industry partners have requested similar guidance in the past, but the issue has taken on new significance as some states are getting ahead of overdue federal guidance regarding wholesale distributor licensure provisions of the DSCSA by developing their own licensure requirements. Varied licensure approaches by these states are inconsistent with the DSCSA’s goal to implement national standards for prescription drug wholesale distributors.

FDA has signaled its view that dispenser-to-dispenser transfers qualify as filling a “specific patient need” under the DSCSA and do not constitute wholesale distribution and consequently are not subject to obtaining a wholesale distributor license. NCPA is encouraging FDA to formally clarify its position and the types of transfers dispensers can make without a wholesale distribution license to avoid disruptions in needed drug supplies for specific patient needs.

Register for the NCPA Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: If you’re not sitting at the table, you could be on the menu. 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.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Next Week’s 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 marketplace 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?

Seizures of Methamphetamine Skyrocket in Minnesota

From KSTP-TV: Nearly 500 pounds of methamphetamine were seized by law enforcement officials in Minnesota last year. That’s the most ever — and more than double the amount seized in 2015. State statistics released on March 6 show a steady increase in meth seizures every year since 2012. While statistics also show an increase in arrests for prescription pills and cocaine, there was also some good news. The report showed that heroin seizures dropped dramatically, and marijuana seizures also dropped.

Read more

Back to top