MPhA News

Small Doses

March 24, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Your Action Needed Today to Include Changes in Medicaid Reimbursement in the State Budget!

It is critical that MPhA members contact the Chairman and staff of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee TODAY to urge support for including HF 1819 (Pharmacy Reimbursement Modernization) in the House HHS Policy Omnibus bill currently being drafted. These changes were mandated in the CMS Outpatient Covered Drug rule, passed several years ago, and provide much-needed relief for pharmacies from Minnesota's chronically low Medicaid reimbursement. Without your urgent help, Minnesota will not be on track to comply with the CMS Covered Outpatient Drugs Rule as required by April 1.

You don't need to be an expert on the bill or go into a lengthy explanation. Just call or email one or more of the three people below, tell them who you are, and tell them something to the effect that you urge them to include HF 1819, Pharmacy Reimbursement Modernization, in the HHS (Health & Human Services) Omnibus bill that is currently being drafted, and then thank them. That's it!

Please share this alert with your pharmacy team and ask that they call and send an email TODAY!

House Health and Human Services Finance Chairman Matt Dean,
Legislative Assistant: Shiloh Larson, 651-296-4375
Committee Administrator Holly Iverson, Phone: 651-296-4305 Email:

Do Your Part to Promote Provider Status!

Engage in the Biggest Pharmacy Letter-Writing Campaign Yet!

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) is calling on YOU to participate in our biggest letter-writing campaign ever to promote provider status legislation (H.R. 592/ S.109)! So far, both Minnesota Senators Klobuchar and Franken have signed on as co-sponsors — and half of our delegation to the U.S. House has done so (Representatives Emmer, Paulsen, Peterson and Walz). Rep. Nolan signed on as a co-sponsor last year, but hasn’t done so yet this year. Reps. Ellison and McCollum didn’t sign on last year, and haven’t signed on yet in 2017. Rep. Lewis is new to Congress this year; he has not yet signed on.

As Congress considers reforming the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pharmacy services in Medicaid and Medicare should be protected to ensure beneficiary access to quality and lower-cost care. Community pharmacy can play a key role in ensuring the success of efforts to reform these programs in helping guarantee access to affordable, high-quality care as well as using scarce resources more wisely. Enhancing access to patient care in communities, through measures like provider status, could be especially beneficial, particularly for patients with chronic conditions.

We will not be able to build support for these critical pro-patient and pro-pharmacy policies without YOUR help! Visit our grassroots website, and by simply typing in your name and address once, you will send a personalized letter to your elected lawmakers in Washington.

A few months ago the community sent nearly 5,000 letters to promote provider status legislation. Join us and make the "NACDS RxIMPACT" to send even more! Our profession, our industry and our patients are depending on you. If you have any questions about this communication, please contact Heidi Ecker, NACDS Director of Government Affairs and Grassroots Programs via email at or phone at 703-837-4121.

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

MDH Invites Comment on Opioid Prescribing Improvement Program Recommendations

The MN 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 Opioid Prescribing Work Group (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.

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.

Use Your Member Benefits

PTCB Launches New Advertising Campaign

PTCB’s newest advertising campaign is based around research results from the recent 2016 public perception survey showing patients care about technician qualifications. Now you can download new PTCB promotional materials from PTCB’s webpage. Choose from advertisements, web banners, brochures, and more. Save and share these on your website, on social media, and in your workplace. Download and share to spread the word!

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

PBM Drug Rebates Targeted by Proposed Legislation

From Pharmacy Today: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has proposed legislation that would force PBMs to disclose the aggregate rebates that they receive from drug companies for Medicare plans and post the amounts on a government website. Wyden says the lack of transparency around rebates has frustrated lawmakers' attempts to determine the costs that health plans pay for drugs, and how much of the savings they get are passed on to consumers. The National Community Pharmacists Association has commended Rep. Wyden for introducing this bill and also calls for enactment of the bipartisan S. 413 / H.R. 1038 to tackle this aspect of the drug pricing problem comprehensively.

His bill would also require PBMs to reveal how much of the rebates they negotiate are funneled to health plans, and would eventually set minimum levels that have to be passed on. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association warns the bill would raise costs by giving drug companies and drugstores more pricing power. Wyden's proposal would "increase premiums by undermining the tools employers, unions, and public programs, including Medicare, use to reduce prescription drug costs," the trade group says. Read the full article.

NCPA Asks FDA to Include Ten Bulk Drug Substances as the Agency Creates 503A Bulks List

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: Pertaining to FDA’s proposed regulation to identify an initial list of bulk drug substances that can be used to compound drug products (that either don’t have an applicable USP/NF monograph or are not part of an FDA approved drug product), NCPA fully supports the Agency’s proposal to place six bulk drug substances on the list.

These substances are Brilliant Blue G-250, cantharidin (for topical use only), diphenylcyclopropenone (for topical use only), N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (for topical use only), squaric acid dibutyl ester (for topical use only), and thymol iodide (for topical use only). In formal comments to the agency, NCPA also offers supporting arguments for the inclusion of the four substances that FDA has proposed not to include on the list. These substances are oxitriptan, piracetam, silver protein mild, and tranilast. Please note that this is a formal rulemaking process and the comments NCPA submitted to the FDA are in response to a proposed rule. Until such time that the rule is final, FDA has stated that they will use enforcement discretion for those compounding with these bulk drug substances.

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.

Gottlieb Nominated to Lead FDA

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: President Trump recently nominated Scott Gottlieb, a venture partner with New Enterprise Associates, to lead the FDA. Gottlieb, a conservative drug industry insider and former FDA and CMS official, has talked extensively about how to lower the cost of prescription drugs by modernizing the agency’s approval process and speeding cheaper generic competitors to market.

Since leaving the FDA, Gottlieb has worked as an adviser to investment firms and as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank. He has been the drug industry’s preferred choice for the FDA job and has worked as a consultant to some of its companies. FDA, which oversees the review and approval of drugs, vaccines and medical devices, and the regulation of tobacco, food and cosmetics, has an annual budget of $5 billion, close to 15,000 employees, and plays a regulatory role in about a fifth of the economy. Gottlieb must be confirmed by the Senate before he takes over at the agency.

Ready to Start Working on Your Pharmacy’s Growth?

NCPA Boot Camp

Shortages of primary care physicians and new interest in value-based networks have put pharmacy owners in a strong position to expand their pharmacies into profitable health care destinations. Back by popular demand, the NCPA Innovation Center’s Re-Engineering Your Pharmacy Boot Camp equips you with the tools needed to plan, execute, and thrive in a changing health care delivery and payment model.

The Boot Camp will be held May 5-6 in the New York City Metro Area. Pharmacy owners like you will demonstrate staffing and workflow models, new revenue opportunities, business calculators for clinical services, solutions for documenting encounters, branding tips, and much more. Take your pharmacy to the next level at this high-energy program.
Register now on the NCPA website or by calling 1-800-544-7447. Early registration ends March 30.

MPhA Events

Register Now for MPhA Statewide Town Hall

Medication Safety Post Myocardial Infarction: Transitions Matter

MPhA will present a statewide Town Hall event on Wednesday, April 26, with viewing locations in Rochester, the Twin Cities and Moorhead. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. Register now!

We will review recent literature that details gold standard medication regimens for patients after a Myocardial Infarction. With special emphasis on care transitions, we will discuss various scenarios, looking for areas of potential miscommunication or gaps in care that may preclude patients from being placed on or staying on this Gold Standard treatment.

Our presenter, Anne Schullo-Feulner, PharmD, BCPS, is Associate Professor and Clinical Education Coordinator at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. In addition to her academic appointment, teaching portions of the cardiology curriculum at the College of Pharmacy, Dr. Schullo-Feulner is a clinical specialist at The Heart and Vascular Center of Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital. In her practice at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, Dr. Schullo-Feulner provides care in an advanced care cardiovascular unit in addition to providing support for clinical cardiovascular pharmacy services. She also coordinates advanced pharmacy practice experiences for second and fourth year pharmacy students. Being involved in an integrated health system, she understands the importance of working across care settings and leveraging your health care team.

Moorhead: Courtyard by Marriott
1080 28th Avenue South | Moorhead, MN 56560

Rochester: Kahler Grand Hotel
20 SW Second Avenue | Rochester, MN 55902

Twin Cities: The Commons Hotel
615 Washington Ave SE | Minneapolis, MN 55414

Registration Fees:

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

Register Online

Sponsor this Event!

For just $800 per booth per location, your company can get visibility with pharmacists! For more information, contact Blake Finger.

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

Registration Deadline Is March 31

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

Register Now for April MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Current Treatment Modalities and Clinical Standards for HIV Patients

Join us on Wednesday, April 19, for a webinar presentation (free to all MPhA members!) with Daniel Jude, PharmD, AAHIVP, CSP, Manager of Specialty Clinical Services at Fairview Specialty Pharmacy. In this one-hour intensive review of current HIV pharmacotherapy, we will dive into the HIV treatment cascade and discuss how pharmacists in Minnesota are able to positively impact outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS through collaboration with care-coordinators and other support services. We will also quickly review the pipeline for HIV therapies and discuss the future of HIV treatment.

MPhA would like to thank Gilead for the educational grant support for this webinar.

Registration Fees:

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

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?

What Does Pharmacy Look Like on Instagram?

From Pharmacy Times: With more than 300 million users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms of the moment. The app allows subscribers to share information and ideas with others around the globe. A new study published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association analyzed the use of the #pharmacist tag on Instagram. The study found that less than one-fourth of the #pharmacist posts were self-portrayed images; nearly 90% of the posts were related more broadly to health care. The authors, while expressing concern for the potential risks social media exposure brings, note that pharmacists may be ignoring a useful way to communicate with prospective patients in this social media-driven age.

Read more