MPhA News

Small Doses

June 9, 2017
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News From MPhA
Minnesota News
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Breaking News

Minnesota Congressman Among 60 Raising Objections to FDA Compounding Final Guidance

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, June 3: In a letter to Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Reps. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and more than 60 other members of Congress expressed their "strong disappointment" with the final Guidance for Industry (GFI) issued by the FDA on Dec. 29, 2016, titled the "Prescription Requirement under 503A of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act."

The letter points out that the final GFI takes the position that state-licensed pharmacies cannot compound medications pursuant to state pharmacy laws for administration to patients in office or clinical settings (commonly referenced to as "office-use compounding"). In the letter, the lawmakers state that office-use compounding is a common and often necessary medical practice that is authorized in some form by the vast majority of state pharmacy laws. NCPA staff and our pharmacy partners worked together to raise awareness of the letter and generate additional signatures.

We encourage you to thank Rep. Peterson for his work on behalf of pharmacy and pharmacists, whether you live in his district or not. You can send an email through his website.

News From MPhA

Nominate a Friend or Colleague Today for MPhA Awards and Recognition

Do you know a pharmacist or pharmacy technician who goes above and beyond the usual? The Minnesota Pharmacists Association wants to hear from you! Help us recognize these pharmacy leaders and inspirations by nominating a pharmacist or pharmacy technician for one of our awards. Nominations are now open.

Nomination form(s) and letters of support must be submitted to the MPhA office by Monday, June 26.

Minnesota News

Save the Date: Celebration Honoring Dean Marilyn Speedie

July 27, 2017 • Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis

Registration will open in mid-June for an evening celebration of history and excellence as the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy honors Dean Marilyn Speedie for her 21 years of outstanding leadership at the college.

Once open the online registration area will also allow you the options of sending a message to Marilyn and/or contributing to the Speedie Scholarship Fund (whether you attend the event or not). The cost for registration will be $100, which will include dinner and entertainment.

Minnesota Medical Cannabis Program: Patient Experiences from the First Program Year

The Minnesota Department of Health has released a report on the experiences of patients who participated in the state’s medical cannabis program during the first year. Between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, a total of 1660 patients enrolled in the program and 577 health care practitioners registered themselves in order to certify that patients have a medical condition that qualifies them for the medical cannabis program.

When asked what the most important benefit was for them, two-thirds of patients indicated a reduction in symptoms directly related to their qualifying medical conditions and most of the remainder indicated more general quality of life benefits. The report encourages readers to review verbatim comments of patients, which are presented in an appendix. Read the full report.

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!

National News

NCPA Submits Comments to CMS on DIR Reporting

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, June 3: The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has submitted comments to CMS regarding proposed guidance on how Part D plan sponsors report direct and indirect remuneration (DIR). While the proposed CMS guidance will not change existing policy with regard to DIR fees, it does have the potential to require plans to provide greater granularity to CMS on DIR amounts and the types of arrangements they put into place.

CMS has responded positively to many of NCPA’s previous recommendations, and even issued an analysis showing the financial havoc retroactive pharmacy DIR fees are causing patients, taxpayers, and pharmacies. NCPA's letter to CMS: commended the agency's proposed 2016 report modifications on how DIR fees information is collected, especially with regards to "making the distinction between price concessions received from pharmacies and incentive payments paid to pharmacies by Medicare Part D sponsors"; suggested that CMS include additional categories to require plan sponsors to further define the amounts of DIR fees charged or paid to non-retail pharmacies; and urged CMS to require Medicare Part D plan sponsors to justify why DIR fees cannot be reasonably estimated at the point of sale. NCPA remains committed to ending retroactive pharmacy DIR fees by passing S. 413 / H.R. 1038, the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act," however, we're also committed to working with CMS to provide clarity on DIR fees as they currently exist via the regulatory process.

APhA, NACDS Caution Trump Administration on Drug Importation

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today Newsletter, June 5: APhA and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) have called on the Trump administration to steer clear of legislation that would clear the way for the importation of prescription drugs from other countries. The organizations wrote a letter urging President Trump and administration officials to "refrain from endorsing pending legislative proposals that would allow for broad personal and commercial importation of non-(FDA) approved prescription drugs." APhA and NACDS underscored extensive documentation of concerns expressed by FDA and by Canadian authorities. "Throughout the past 15 years, through speeches, testimony, letters and other consumer resources, FDA has repeatedly sounded the alarm on the risk to patient safety posed by importation of non-FDA approved drugs," the letter said. Read the full letter.

MPhA Events

Help Set the Direction for Your Association at MPhA’s 2017 Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Event

Less than Two Weeks Left to Register!

Join Minnesota pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians for a day of inspiration, information, influence building and crafting MPhA’s policy agenda at the 2017 MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates meeting on Tuesday, June 20, at Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville, Minn. The program, themed, “Building Influence to Advance Patient Care & Practice,” is open to all members and non-members, in addition to those who will serve as delegates to the MPhA House of Delegates meeting. Non-delegates are welcome to stay and observe the policy deliberations that will lay the groundwork for MPhA’s policy agenda for the next year. MPhA seeks delegates — you will be asked if you are willing to serve and for which constituency during the registration process. MPhA will strive to assign delegates to their desired constituency but retains the right to assign delegates as needed to ensure all groups are represented. Nearly 60 people have registered for the event so far — this is always one of our most popular programs!

Registration Information

The registration fee for the event is $45 for MPhA members, $60 for MPhA non-members and $20 for student pharmacists and includes breakfast, lunch and reception appetizers. Prices go up on Tuesday, June 6. Register now!

Register Online

June 21 Virtual Coffee Break Webinar

Leveraging Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

In this one-hour intensive review of continuous quality improvement (free for all MPhA members), we will dive into why it’s crucial for pharmacists to understand CQI and use it to promote value-based care and advance pharmacy practice. Participants will also learn how this should be employed to analyze problems, test and study interventions and create sustainable change. We will review what CQI looks like when applied to a real-world health care problem.

Read more

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 • Online Webinar
FREE for all MPhA Members • Non-member cost: $25 per person

Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration Now Open!

2017 newtowrking event logo

2017 MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event

September 7–8, 2017 | St. Paul RiverCentre

Register now as a sponsor or exhibitor!

Register Online

Did You Know?

New Studies Show Link between Grilled Meat and Cancer

An article in the Washington Post quotes University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Professor Robert Turesky in an article about increasing evidence that high consumption of grilled meat — especially processed red meat, such as hot dogs and sausages — may put people at higher risk for cancer. “This is the first unequivocal proof that, once you eat the cooked meat mutagens, some of them find their way to the prostate and damage the prostate,” Turesky says. Read the full article.


Pharmacists Can Help with Reducing Falls in Older Adults

During National Safety Month, it’s a great time to remember that pharmacists help keep our patients safe all year long. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among people age 65 and older. APhA’s program, STEADI: The Pharmacist’s Role in Older Adult Fall Prevention, is available free to members and non-members.