MPhA News

Small Doses

July 14, 2017
Breaking News
News From MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

Senate Republicans Unveil New Health Bill

From News Sources, July 13: Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have released a fresh proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The latest version of the bill would keep two taxes on high-income Americans to help pay for some subsidies to help keep premiums and out-of-pocket costs to consumers lower and to provide funding for opioid addiction treatment. The new bill would still convert Medicaid to a system of fixed payments to states.

By the evening of July 13, three key Republican Senators — moderates Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio, plus conservative Rand Paul of Kentucky — had already announced they continue to oppose the bill, even with the changes. If more than two Republican Senators vote no, this version of the health care reform bill would fail.

Opioid Prescribing Is Still High; Rates Vary Widely

From CDC News Release, July 6: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the amount of opioids prescribed in the United States peaked in 2010 and then dropped every year through 2015. Levels remain high and vary widely by state and county. For instance, even in Minnesota, there were several counties in 2015 where morphine milligram equivalents (MME) per capita were in the highest range (957.9 – 5,543.0).

The report points out that six times more opioids per resident were dispensed in the highest-prescribing counties than in the lowest-prescribing ones in 2015. Such wide variation indicates inconsistent prescribing practices among health care providers and that patients received different care based on geography. Read the full report.

News From MPhA

Help MPhA’s Editorial Advisory Committee Keep Our Website Updated

The MPhA Editorial Advisory Committee is in the process of reviewing many areas within the MPhA website to ensure that we have usable, accurate information available to our members. If you see a page that is outdated or if you have suggestions for additions, please send them to Communication Director Laurie Pumper and she will collect them for review by the Editorial Advisory Committee. If you are interested in joining the Editorial Advisory Committee to help with this project and/or other work, learn more and volunteer now.

Minnesota News

Brent Thompson Elected to APhA-APPM Executive Committee

Congratulations to long-time MPhA member and Past President Brent Thompson, PharmD, Pharmacy Director at FirstLight Health System in Mora, Minn., who was recently elected to the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA-APPM). Brent’s term will begin at the 165th APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., in March 2018 and runs through March 2020.

PMP Annual Survey Opens Soon

The Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) will conduct its annual survey regarding the utilization and effectiveness of the database. The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete and will be emailed to prescriber and pharmacist account holders. The survey will open on July 17 and close on July 31.

Register Now: Celebration Honoring Dean Marilyn Speedie

July 27, 2017 • Nicollet Island Pavilion, Minneapolis

Registration is open now 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. The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m. and program/dinner at 6:15 p.m.

The online registration area also allows you the options of sending a message to Marilyn and/or contributing to the Speedie Scholarship Fund as a founding donor (whether you attend the event or not). The cost for registration is $100, which includes dinner and entertainment. The deadline for registration is Friday, July 14.

Use Your Member Benefits

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 is more than the discounted rate for the entire online library! A few of the references include:

  • Pharmacy Ethics: A Foundation for Professional Practice
  • Pharmacy Research: A How-To Guide for Students, Residents and New Practitioners
  • Pharmacy: An Introduction to the Profession, 2nd edition
  • Physiology Case Studies in Pharmacy
  • Principles of the Human Genome and Pharmacogenomics

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

Nominations Open for Remington Honor Medal

From APhA, July 11: The Remington Honor Medal is the pharmacy profession’s highest honor, recognizing distinguished service on behalf of American pharmacy during the preceding year, culminating in the past year, or during a long period of outstanding activity or fruitful achievement. The deadline for nominations is September 1. Learn more and make your nomination today.

Toward Uniform Standards for Pharmacy Technicians

Summary of the 2017 Pharmacy Technician Stakeholder Consensus Conference

From American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, June 2017: In pursuit of a path toward resolving unsettled issues related to pharmacy technicians, the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) sponsored a stakeholder consensus conference on February 14-16, 2017, in Irving, Texas. Planned in collaboration with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and under the guidance of an advisory committee representing all major branches of pharmacy, this invitational event yielded important recommendations concerning the definition, education, entry-level requirements, advanced practice, certification, and regulation of pharmacy technicians.

The 89 invited participants in the conference (Appendix A, available at included pharmacists and technicians from various types of practice and educational settings, pharmacy association executives, regulators, and representatives of the general public. Approximately 350 individuals participated remotely in the plenary sessions of the conference through a web link. Read the full report.

CDC’s 30 Smokefree Days

From NASPA Weekly Recap, July 7: On July 10, the CDC launched 30 Smokefree Days — a free 30-day quit smoking event held in Facebook for smokers who are thinking about quitting smoking, but would like some extra support along the way. It is also for the supporters of people trying to quit, or people who have already quit and would like to help support others.

Facebook users can join together to receive support such as links to quit resources, quit tips, encouragement, milestone badges, and exclusive video content with words of advice from Tips From Former Smokers® participants. In addition, there will be Facebook Live streaming video sessions where staff from NCI will cover specific topics relevant to cessation, provide guidance on successful quit skills, and answer smokers' questions.

340B Recertification Updates

From Bruce Thompson, July 11: Krista Pedley, director, Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) at the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has announced that due to changes in the OPA website, recertification will likely happen in October (not August) this year.

HRSA recommends (read that as you need to do it) that all covered entities update all information and make any needed changes before the recertification process. Recertification is not the time to make changes. Be sure your entity’s information is accurate before you recertify.

HRSA sends out the recertification notices every August for most 340B entities (FQHC’s recertified this last January). There is a deadline to complete the recertification by Sept. 30, but it’s best to do it as soon as possible after getting the notice.

HRSA has not released the exact dates for 2017 yet. HRSA will email both the Authorizing Official and the Primary Contact of the need to recertify, and this will happen sometime in the next few weeks. That makes now a great time to ensure your facility is ready. For more information on 340B compliance, visit or contact Bruce Thompson, RPh, MS, Division VP - Compliance and Regulatory Consulting at Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, 2615 Park Ave., Suite 618, Minneapolis, MN 55407, cell 763-331-1752.

MPhA Events

Last Chance: Register for Next Week’s Virtual Coffee Break Webinar

Introduction to Pharmacogenomics

In this one-hour webinar, we will review the current approach to pharmacogenomic testing in the field of medicine. In addition, presenters Kandace Schuft, PharmD, and Mathura Shanmugasundaram, PhD, will discuss the details and depth of pharmacogenomics while explaining the impact of pharmacogenomics on the future of medicine and exploring its implementation in clinical practice.

Read more

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 • Online Webinar
FREE for all MPhA Members • Non-member cost: $25 per person

Register Online

Join Us at the 2017 MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event & MTM Symposium!

Chart Your Course for Change with MPhA, September 7-8 in St. Paul

Join your colleagues at this peer-designed event, which will allow to you create an agenda for your practice and professional development. We have a tremendous line-up of speakers and topics! Here are just a few highlights:

  • Mark Loafman, MD, Feinberg School of Medicine: Physicians’ Perspective on Integrating Medication Management into Primary Care
  • Pamala Jacobson, PharmD, Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of Minnesota: Integration of Pharmacogenomics into Clinical Care
  • Lisa Lohr, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Oncology MTM Provider, Masonic Cancer Clinic, University of Minnesota: Role of Oral Targeted Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Advanced/Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Richard Mullvain, RPh, BCPS (AQC) CCCC, Cardiovascular Clinical Pharmacist, Essentia Health Heart & Vascular Center: Treating Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Anjoli Punjabi, PharmD, Moderator and Presenter, and Norris, MD, Medical Director, Prairie Community Care, Presenter: Meeting Community Health Care Needs (General Session Panel)

Register Online

Did You Know?

High Risk for Invasive Meningococcal Disease among Patients Receiving Eculizumab Despite Meningococcal Vaccination

From Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, July 7: CDC has identified 16 cases of meningococcal disease in patients taking eculizumab (Soliris – Alexion Pharmaceuticals) in the U.S. from 2008 through 2016. The drug, a terminal complement inhibitor, is most commonly prescribed for the treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. Patients taking this medication have up to a 2,000-fold increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease compared with the general U.S. population.

FDA-approved prescribing information for the drug includes a black box warning for increased risk of meningococcal disease, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice recommends that patients taking eculizumab receive both quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate and serogroup B meningococcal vaccines. Read the full article.