MPhA News

Small Doses

April 7, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Invite Your Member of Congress to Visit Your Pharmacy During Recess

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: The U.S. Congress takes a two-week recess starting tomorrow (April 8), meaning your representative most likely will be back home and accessible for a few days. Please invite your representative to drop by your pharmacy for a short visit/tour. Tell them you need just 15 minutes of their time.

  • Talk with them about PBM abuses: DIR fees, copay clawbacks, and how restrictive networks are harming the patients you serve. Ask for support of NCPA’s DIR fee (H.R. 1038/S. 413) and MAC bills (H.R. 1316) now pending in Congress.
  • After your visit, email and share with us any feedback and/or photos you got from your meeting.
  • So, get going: Call your representative’s district office today and issue the invitation. Here are tips on how to set up a visit.

There’s never been a better time for you to reach out to your member of Congress in this way. Your meetings will help fuel our success on your behalf. They need to hear from you…in-person, both in-district and on their turf in D.C.

MPhA Legislative Action Update

The Minnesota Legislature will be on spring break April 10-17. Your legislators will be at home in your district. Take this opportunity to invite your state senator and/or representative to your pharmacy. Talk to them about the good work that your pharmacy is doing now, and how our bill that would give pharmacists the authority to prescribe naloxone, self-administered contraceptives, nicotine replacement products and travel medications would help you serve your patients even better; while this legislation appears to be stalled for this year, the more we are able to communicate with our legislators, the better our position will be for 2018.

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 Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Event

Please save Tuesday, June 20, 2017 on your calendar for the MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates event! The program will be inspirational, motivational and provide you with the opportunity to network, learn and share with your peers throughout the day. Registration will open soon!

Minnesota News

MDH Flu Report Shows Continued Widespread Illness

During the week ending on March 25 (the most recent date available), the Minnesota Department of Health reports that widespread geographic spread of influenza continues. While cases of hospitalizations from flu continue to decrease after peaking in late February, more than 175 people were hospitalized because of the flu during the third full week of March. These numbers are somewhat higher than in the same time period in recent years. Check the full report.

When Health Professionals Need Help

Health professionals, like anyone else, are susceptible to substance, psychiatric and medical illnesses. Left untreated, these can put even the finest clinicians and their patients at risk. Many professionals do not get the help they need due to social stigma, fear of exposure or lack of awareness. If someone you know needs help, call the Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP) at 651-643-2120. Get additional information.

Use Your Member Benefits

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!

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

NACDS, NCPA, WSPA Sue Washington State Over Medicaid Rule

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the Washington State Pharmacy Association (WSPA), and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) have sued the State of Washington to stop a "substantively and procedurally flawed" rule that would pay pharmacies below the actual cost to dispense Medicaid prescriptions.

The rule would jeopardize reliable patient access to medications responsible for ensuring patient health and preventing more costly forms of care that result from untreated conditions. Rule (WSR 17-07-001) by the Washington State Health Care Authority changes the basis by which the agency determines pharmacies' cost of acquiring pharmaceuticals, thus reducing reimbursement to pharmacies for medications dispensed to Medicaid patients.

Contrary to a federal rule by CMS, the Washington State rule does not make required adjustments to account for another aspect of pharmacies' costs—the "professional dispensing fee." The professional dispensing fee must cover actual costs to safely fill the prescription such as the pharmacist's professional services. The current dispensing fee in Washington State is significantly lower than the cost of dispensing identified in studies conducted by other states and experts. For example, an independent study commissioned by NACDS and NCPA found that the cost of dispensing in Washington State is more than double the proposed professional dispensing fee for Medicaid prescriptions in Washington State's new rule.

The following documents are available:
Petition for Declaratory Relief and Emergency Stay
Emergency Motion for Stay

President Creates Drug Addiction and Opioid Crisis Commission

From National Community Pharmacists Association Advocacy Center Update: President Donald Trump has issues an executive order that establishes the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The mission of the Commission is “to study the scope and effectiveness of the Federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis” and issue recommendations to improve the response.

Interim recommendations are due within 90 days and a final report is due by October 1, 2017. The Commission is chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and includes representatives of Federal agencies, including the Departments of Justice, Education, Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and experts and private citizens affected by drug addiction and the opioid crisis. NCPA will recommend that a pharmacist be included on the Commission.

FDA Pleases no one with Final Guidance on Naming of Biologicals and Biosimilars

From P&T Community: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has put one more piece of the biosimilar puzzle in place by issuing final guidance on naming of biological innovator products and biosimilars. The agency hewed close to the thinking it first noted in an August 2015 proposed rule and guidance that would “name” a biosimilar by using its non-proprietary name separated from a random four-letter suffix by a hyphen. That format satisfied almost no one, and brand-name and generics manufacturers, as well as pharmacy groups, got almost none of the changes they requested.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is particularly unhappy with the decision and asked the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to stay implementation of the final guidance until its economic effects could be better studied. The ASHP argues that the addition of a suffix will force drug companies to rename the thousands of biologics now on the market, causing particular financial distress to hospitals, which would have to spend thousands of hours on information technology redesign and reprogramming.

According to ASHP member Erin Fox, PharmD, FASHP, Director of the University of Utah Health Care’s Drug Information Service, “a reasonable estimate of burden is about 40 hours per product, which would include impacts on medication lists in electronic medical records, labels, scanning, billing, changing order sets, changing smart pumps, pharmacy automation, automated dispensing cabinets, etc.” Further, there are additional burdens associated with cycling through existing stock, Dr. Fox notes: “It will be nearly impossible to use up all of the ‘old’ product without the new suffix and then switch out to the new product with the suffix. The pharmacy will have to bear the cost of the unusable ‘old’ product because the system can’t handle a mixed inventory for the same item.”Read the full report.

APhA Pinnacle Award Nominations Are Open Now

The Pinnacle Awards, established in 1998 by the APhA Foundation's Quality Center, celebrate significant contributions to the medication use process. Nominations are open until Sunday, June 18.

Award Categories

  • Individual Award for Career Achievement: Recognizes individuals whose actions have demonstrated exceptional leadership in enhancing health care quality and medication use. 
  • Group Practices, Health Systems, Health Care Corporations: Recognizes a significant scientific contribution and/or quality improvement project.
  • Voluntary Health Agencies, Nonprofit Organizations, Associations, Government Agencies, and Public/Private Partnerships: Recognizes health organizations that assist patients and their caregivers in achieving better outcomes from their medications.

Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged. Visit the APhA Foundation website for full details

MPhA Events

MPhA Statewide Town Hall

Wednesday, April 26 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm

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

Kahler Grand Hotel
20 SW Second Avenue
Rochester, MN 55902

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

Register Online

April MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Wednesday, April 19

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?

New Training: The Pharmacist’s Role in Preventing Falls among Older Adults

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) have collaborated to provide a new training program.
As some of the most accessible members of the health care team, and as medication experts, pharmacists play a critical role in older adult fall prevention. To begin preventing falls, pharmacists can:

  • Screen to identify patients at risk for a fall;
  • Assess to identify modifiable risk factors, such as medication use;
  • Intervene to use effective clinical and community strategies to reduce risk.

Take the free online application-based training and earn accredited CPE.
In order to take this training you need to register within the APhA learning management system. If you are not an APhA member, registration is free and simple; just click log-in/register on the training webpage to start the process.