MPhA News

Small Doses

March 31, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
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Did You Know?

Breaking News

MPhA Among 100+ Pharmacy Organizations to Thank Members of Congress for Sponsoring DIR Legislation

Nearly 120 pharmacy organizations from all parts of the United States — including the Minnesota Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmacists Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations — joined this week to send letters of thanks to the sponsor and original cosponsors of H.R. 1038/S. 413.

Not only is this total significantly higher than September’s letter endorsing the legislation in the last Congress, but the array of signatories represents a broader spectrum of the health care industry, demonstrating that the effects of retroactive DIR fees are widespread.

Read the full letter to Senate sponsors
Read the full letter to House sponsors

MPhA Legislative Action Update

Top priority legislation for MPhA and the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) which would give pharmacists the authority to prescribe naloxone, self-administered contraceptives, nicotine replacement products and travel medications appears to be stalled for this legislative session — which is not a complete surprise, given the anticipated opposition from the Minnesota Medical Association. Our legislation remains alive through this and the 2018 legislative session. We will continue to build support with legislators, other stakeholders and patient advocacy groups through the interim and into next year's legislative session.

As budget bills are built and negotiated, we continue to work behind the scenes to assure that the language enacting the increase in Medicaid reimbursement which was worked out with DHS staff last fall is included in the final budget. We remain optimistic about its inclusion.

Legislation allowing pharmacists to substitute biologic medications that have been deemed interchangeable by the FDA has passed out of committee in both the House and Senate in identical form and awaits approval by both bodies. This legislation also removes problematic language from the 1970s regarding the pricing of generic products. We anticipate approval by both bodies and by the governor.

Several bills were introduced this year intending to deal with the opioid addiction crisis in Minnesota, some of them quite problematic for pharmacies in their initial form. We continue to monitor these bills and have worked with the authors to find compromise that appears to have some traction. Our legislators have a strong desire to enact solutions to the many facets of this health crisis. We continue to work to show that the pharmacy community wants to be part of the solution and to assure that legislation that is passed is effective toward the solution without placing undue burdens on pharmacies and pharmacists.

News From MPhA

Support the Pharmacy Advocacy Fund

Your help is needed to continue to proactively promote pharmacy’s advocacy agenda through the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature. MPhA and PATF lobbyist Buck Humphrey continue to work on Medicaid reimbursement and many opioid-related bills that could impact pharmacy during this legislative session. MPhA is sharing the financial lobbying commitment with the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists. We do not have money in the operating budget for this expense and are relying on your donations to reach our goal. We are 50% toward our goal and need your help to close the gap. Every member of the MPhA Board of Directors has contributed to the fund along with many members! Please join them — and contribute financially to our important work! Read more and donate now.

MPhA Members Participate in APhA House of Delegates Meeting

Many thanks to all the MPhA members who attended the APhA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, March 23-27. Special thanks to our members who served as delegates, shown here.

Left to right: Julie Freeman, Steve Simenson (former APhA President), Michelle Aytay, Anjoli Punjabi, Natalie Roy, Stephanie Swanson and Kati Dvorak.

Minnesota News

Randy Seifert to Receive Weaver Medal Honor

Help to honor Senior Associate Dean (and MPhA Past President) Randy Seifert at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Weaver Medal Receptions. The Twin Cities reception will be held 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 here. The Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal is given annually to someone who supports the college and its students through service to education, the profession, research and the community.

Courtney Murphy Selected for MSHP Award

Congratulations to MPhA member (and former MPhA Board member) Courtney Murphy, who has been chosen to receive the 2017 Outstanding Student Award from the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP). The award will be presented at MSHP’s annual conference, April 6-7, in Rochester, Minn.

COP APhA-ASP Chapter Recognized

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy’s APhA-ASP Chapter, which was recognized with the "2015-2016 Chapter Operational Leadership National Award" at the recent APhA Annual Convention, accepted by MPSA-Duluth President Axel Vazquez-Deida.

In addition, congratulations to Axel for being named the APhA Foundation George Archambault Scholar and to MPSA member Grace Baek for receiving the 2017 Carl Emswiller Summer Internship. Grace will spend 10 weeks at APhA headquarters in Washington, D.C., this summer.

University of Minnesota Urges Support for Legislative Appropriation

From Dean Marilyn Speedie’s office: Alumni support of the University’s College of Pharmacy has been instrumental in the college’s work. Equally important, the support of the Minnesota Legislature is a critical component in our overall funding. This year we are faced with a significant challenge. The Legislature has, on a preliminary basis, chosen to fund approximately just 20% of the University's 2018/2019 request. The lack of state support will translate to increased tuition expense for our students and decreased opportunities for research from our world-class educators and researchers.

The University needs your help. Calling or emailing your legislator with a request to fund the University at our initial, Board of Regent approved request, is critical. Find your legislator. Sending them a brief note, or calling their office, does help. Please consider assisting the University as we demonstrate the value-add we create for this state, each and every day, in asking the Minnesota Legislature to fund us in a more equitable manner.

Use Your Member Benefits

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

Many pharmacists have incurred steep education debt by the time they begin practicing. Loan relief programs can reduce a major source of stress and save thousands of dollars for pharmacists on their student loans. MPhA is partnering with Navigate, LLC for student loan expert advice.

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 a pharmacy professional. E-learning is ideal for those who are unable to travel long distances for continuing education programs. The program provides opportunities to obtain CEs from the comfort of your home or office with both live and on-demand options. 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:

  • Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs, 18th edition
  • How to Conduct a Comprehensive Medication Review
  • How to Implement the Pharmacists' Patient Care Process
  • How to Start an MTM Practice: A Guidebook for Pharmacists
  • Leadership and Advocacy for Pharmacy, 2nd 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

DEA Alerts Pharmacies of Phishing Scam Asking Registrants for Sensitive Data

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is alerting pharmacies of a fax-based phishing scam that asks for licensing information. A sample of the scam fax document requesting pharmacies to provide a copy of the current DEA certificate and state license is available in the DEA alert, which also notes that DEA does not send unsolicited faxes or emails requesting sensitive data. DEA urges registrants who have already provided this information to contact their local field office.

AHCA Pulled from Consideration

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the bill that would have initiated the repeal and replacement for the Affordable Care Act, was pulled from consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, March 24.

Many health care associations, including the American Medical Association, the American Health Care Association (representing long-term care providers) and the American Hospital Association, opposed the AHCA as proposed. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) will closely monitor any developments and will continue to work constructively with Congress and the Trump Administration to ensure that patient access to prescription drug services is maintained and that pharmacies are reimbursed fairly for helping patients achieve better health outcomes.

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 this week to the FDA are in response to a proposed rule. Until such time that the rule is final, FDA has stated that it 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.

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 will demonstrate staffing and workflow models, new revenue opportunities, business calculators for clinical services, solutions for documenting encounters, branding tips, and much more.
Register now on the NCPA website or by calling 1-800-544-7447.

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

Today is the Final Day to Register!

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.

Register Online

Register by Tomorrow 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 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 thanks 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?

Time to Consider Flood Protection

Everyone needs a flood insurance policy regardless of high or low risk zone. Protect what matters most — your family and home. PMC Advantage Insurance Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Pharmacists Mutual, provides flood policies that can give you the peace of mind you deserve.