MPhA News

Small Doses

August 11, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

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 an excellent 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
  • Diana Langworthy, PharmD, BCPS, University of Minnesota: Post-Bariatric Surgery Absorption Issues
  • Sara Drake, RPh, MPH, MBA, Mercer LLC: Medicaid Overview and Role in U.S. Health Care
  • Brent Thompson, PharmD, FirstLight; Dave Hoang, PharmD, MBA, Minnesota Department of Human Services; Andy Skoogman, Minnesota Chiefs of Police; Angela Behrens, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office; Jeff Lindoo, RPh, MPhA Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair; Buck Humphrey, PATF Lobbyist: Addressing Minnesota’s Opioid Issue
  • Jean Moon, PharmD, BCACP, University of Minnesota: Precepting Millennials

You won’t want to miss Thursday’s Award Reception, where we will honor past leaders and recognize recent accomplishments in the profession. Then you’ll enjoy catching up with colleagues and having fun raising money for student scholarships and community service activities at the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation “Great Minnesota Pharmacy Get Together”, where participants will have the chance to mingle over games, share libations and heavy appetizers while raising funds for the Foundation through a raffle and wine pull. The event is included in the full event and Thursday-only registration.

Register by August 24 for early bird discounts — and be sure to reserve your hotel room early if you will stay in St. Paul.

Register Online

Minnesota News

Childhood Immunization Coverage in Minnesota

When it comes to most childhood immunizations, Minnesota children really are above average. The Minnesota Department of Health has posted current state immunization rates from the National Immunization Survey (NIS) and the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC). While the news is generally positive, there are some vaccines where the Minnesota immunization rate is below 80% — including 3+ HepB and 2+ HepA. Pharmacists can encourage parents to get their children immunized.

Board of Pharmacy: Another Position Open

Closing Date: August 16

Due to another retirement, the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy has another opening for Pharmacy Surveyor (aka Inspector). As you may be aware, the Board posted for a Pharmacy Surveyor position a couple of weeks ago. The Board received applications from 74 individuals who met the minimum requirements. The new posting will be on the MN Careers website through August 16. Anyone who applied for the first position will need to also apply for this second position in order to be considered for both positions.

Any pharmacist who did not apply for the first position is welcome to apply for this one. The Board will not conduct interviews for either position until after applications for this second posting are received. At that time, the Board will interview for both positions simultaneously and select the top two candidates for the positions.

Go to: MN Careers and enter “pharmacy” in the search field. Once you locate the position, click on its link for additional information and instructions on how to apply.

Use Your Member Benefits

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

U.S. Attorney General Cracks Down on Health Professionals Contributing to Opioid Epidemic

From NASPA Weekly Recap, Aug. 4: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced a new initiative to combat the opioid epidemic, focusing on the physicians and pharmacists contributing to the problem. As part of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, Sessions is creating a federal data analysis program to track prescriptions and pharmacies and appointing 12 federal prosecutors to identify and arrest the violators.

“If you are a doctor illegally prescribing opioids for profit or a pharmacist letting these pills walk out the door...we are coming after you,” Sessions said during a speech at the Columbus Police Academy in Ohio. “These prosecutors will help us target and prosecute these doctors, pharmacies and medical providers who are furthering this epidemic to line their pockets,” he said.

Some Consumers Find that Insurers Demand Use of Brand Name Prescriptions

From New York Times, August 7: Many consumers have become accustomed to being told by insurers and PBMs that they must give up brand-name drugs in favor of cheaper generics. But now some consumers find that the opposite is true.

Out of public view, corporations are cutting deals that give consumers little choice but to buy brand-name drugs — and sometimes pay more at the pharmacy counter than they would for generics. The article suggests that the practice is becoming more common. Consumers with high-deductible insurance plans may feel the cost difference especially acutely. The article was written through collaboration between the New York Times and ProPublica, an independent nonprofit investigative journalism organization. Read the full article.

Participate in NCPA’s Community Pharmacy Impact Census

From NCPA, Aug. 7: The fourth annual National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) census is now open. This survey is intended to be completed by pharmacy owners or their designated representatives. The responses help NCPA communicate the stories of community pharmacies to legislators, regulators, the media and patients.

There are no financial questions and there is no need to reference other documents for answers. The survey should take 10 minutes or less to complete on a computer or mobile device. All data are confidential and will never be sold to a third party.

NCPA Participates in Meeting on the Role of Pharmacists in Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Aug. 7: The National Community Pharmacists Association participated in a meeting hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Discussion centered on how best to incorporate the pharmacist in care for persons with mental health and/or substance use disorders. NCPA provided input for a white paper on the topic and will continue to participate in the group’s work.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Next Week’s Virtual Coffee Break Webinar

Flu Vaccine Guidance for Minnesota Pharmacists

In this one-hour webinar on Wednesday, August 16, we will learn about new influenza recommendations and refresh knowledge of the basics of giving flue vaccine. Jennifer Heath, DNP, MPH, RN, from the Minnesota Department of Health will present essential information to prepare for the 2017-2018 influenza season and answer your questions related to providing flu vaccine.

Read more

August 16, 2017 • Online Webinar
FREE for all MPhA Members • Non-member cost: $25 per person

Register Online

Register for APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Course

Sunday, September 17 • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate training program is based on national educational standards for immunization training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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.

The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to provide immunization services to patients across the life span. The event is co-hosted by Fairview Pharmacy Services and MPhA. For a complete list of learning objectives for the self-study and live seminar, please visit APhA’s website.

Faculty: John Creasy, RPh, Fairview Pharmacy Services; Laurie Deegan, RPh, Fairview Pharmacy Services; Melanie Schwartz, RPh, Fairview Pharmacy Services

Hurry! Registration closes on September 8!

Read more

Sunday, September 17, 2017
MPhA member pricing: $349 • Non-member pricing: $449

Register Online

Did You Know?

Protect Your Pharmacy from Wildfire

From Pharmacists Mutual: If a fire threatens an insured property, Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company may dispatch an engine and crew to the property for pre-fire and post-fire mitigation services. Learn more about this special service at

Prepare Your Pharmacy Now to Participate in National Check Your Meds Day

From NASPA Weekly Recap, Aug. 4: With 90% of the U.S. population living within 5 miles of a pharmacy, you are the community’s most accessible health care provider. Demonstrate your expertise and value on Oct. 21 for the inaugural National Check Your Meds Day. Sponsored by Consumer Reports and supported by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), patients are encouraged to bring their prescription medications and supplements to a local pharmacy for a brown bag medication review.

Prepare and market for this important day:

Learn More