MPhA News

Small Doses

October 20, 2017
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Kelsey Trahms, left, presented MPhA student members Max Thompson (Duluth), second from left, and David Vermeulen (Minneapolis), third from left with National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation Presidential Scholarships during the NCPA conference this week (MPhA President-Elect Jason Varin is at right in the photo). The scholarships are awarded based on leadership qualities and accomplishments with a demonstrated interest in independent pharmacy, as well as involvement in extracurricular activities. Each student received a check for $2,000 made payable to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, plus a travel stipend and complimentary registration to the NCPA conference.

Editor’s Note: During our Annual Learning Networking Event in September, MPhA made note of Mission Moments — those times when a member clearly exemplified our mission to advance patient care. As we move through the year, we hope to showcase these Mission Moments as part of Small Doses. If you have an example to share, please send it to Laurie Pumper

Minnesota News

Minnesota Senate Committee Continues Hearing Testimony

The Minnesota Senate Select Committee on Health Care Consumer Access and Affordability (HCCAA) met on Oct. 12 and will meet again on Oct. 26 and Nov. 9. Past meetings of this committee have included testimony from Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy on prescription drug pricing and other important topics to Minnesota pharmacy. Watch a YouTube video of Dr. Schondelmeyer's testimony.

Watch the Oct. 12 HCCAA hearing.

You can find video of each HCCAA hearing on the Minnesota Senate Media Services YouTube channel or online on the Senate Multimedia page. This link will have the agenda for each hearing next to the date of each hearing.

MPhA Members Speak at NCPA Conference

Tim Gallagher of Sterling Specialty Pharmacy and Amanda Schroepfer of Goodrich Pharmacy were among the speakers this week at the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) in Orlando, Fla. Below: Amanda Schroepfer at the podium. Thanks to President-Elect Jason Varin for sharing the photos!

Stratis Health Offers Free One-Day Workshop on Motivational Interviewing

Dates/Locations Around Minnesota

You work with patients to address their depression, alcohol misuse, or other behavioral health concerns. Or you counsel patients to quit smoking, eat better, exercise more, adhere to the medication that's been prescribed, or make other changes to their health behaviors. Helping patients make positive changes in their health behaviors can feel like the most challenging part of healthcare. It can feel like we are doing all the work, our priorities aren't aligned, and goals are set but never achieved. Motivational Interviewing offers an evidence-based model for effective conversations about change.


Mia Croyle, MA, is an experienced mental health counselor who specializes in behavioral change and is a Motivational Interviewing trainer and coach. Her research and publications focus on behavioral screenings and interventions. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has facilitated learning workshops for professionals around the nation.


October 25, 2017: St. Cloud - Register.
November 2, 2017: Fargo - Register.
November 3, 2017: Brainerd - Register.

If you have questions, contact Jane Gendron, 952-853-8534,

Use Your Member Benefits

Complimentary On-Demand Virtual Coffee Break Webinars Available to MPhA Members

If you missed this week’s Virtual Coffee Break with Buck Humphrey, you can listen online whenever you have time! 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. There are enough programs in the archives to earn your entire 2-year pharmacist CE requirement — at no cost!

Registration Fees

  • FREE for MPhA Members, including Pharmacy Technicians, students and residents
  • $25 per person per webinar for Non-members

National News

Senators Reach Bipartisan Deal on Health Subsidies

From APhA Pharmacy Today, Oct. 18: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reached a deal on Oct. 17 to fund subsidies to health insurers that were cut off last week by executive order of President Trump. The agreement would fund the subsidies for two years to provide some certainty for insurers. Sen. Alexander, chair of the Senate health committee, said the deal would also give states more flexibility in the variety of choices they can give to consumers. It is not clear how the agreement might move through Congress, although the bill appears to be gaining some traction.

APhA CEO Testifies Before U.S. Senate on Drug Pricing

From APhA, Oct. 17: APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas E. Menighan, BSPharm, MBA, ScD (Hon), FAPhA, testified in a hearing about drug prices held by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, driving home the frustration pharmacists often feel when they devote their time to “chasing administrivia” rather than providing care to patients.

Menighan said that complex payment rules and coverage hinder the full potential of community pharmacists’ education and training from being realized, as much of their time is spent on the phone with insurers. Menighan added that APhA supports a transparent pricing framework that would eliminate mechanisms like hidden discounts as well as post point-of-sale price fees imposed on pharmacies.

“These policies generally result in higher prices at the point of sale and higher beneficiary copays,” Menighan said, later adding that rebates are used to drive market share and are “not necessarily to the benefit of patients.”

Menighan reiterated APhA’s position against legalizing the importation of non-FDA approved drugs, saying that pharmacists shouldn’t have to worry about diversion and counterfeits and that ultimately the practice would do more harm than good.

October Is American Pharmacists Month

American Pharmacists Month (APhM) is the perfect time to celebrate the vital role you play in health care. You and your fellow pharmacists make a difference every day, so use APhM to show off what you can do, emphasizing the APhM theme, “Know your pharmacist, know your medicine.”

Last week, several national pharmacy associations coordinated to present the fifth annual Capitol Hill Health Fair in Washington, D.C. In addition to providing flu shots and information about the many ways pharmacists promote good health, the event served as a way to promote support for the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, H.R. 592. More than half the members of the U.S. House of Representatives have now signed on to support this provider status legislation (including more than half of the Minnesota delegation) and nearly half of U.S. Senators have signed on (including both of Minnesota's senators).

APhA would also love to share your Pharmacy Month celebrations this year. Use #APhM2017 on social media or send your photos and videos with a brief description of your celebration to Please also let MPhA know what you and your pharmacy are planning; email today.

MPhA Events

Duluth Area Pharmacists/MPhA Town Hall

Tuesday, November 7, 5 p.m. CST

Please join the Duluth Area Pharmacists and MPhA for an advocacy update and a lively discussion with Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force Lobbyist Buck Humphrey. Buck will share Minnesota’s advocacy plans for the next session and he is inviting some area legislators to join. Our evening will close with an interactive Town Hall discussion with MPhA President-Elect Jason Varin and Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig. This is your chance to mingle with peers and have your voice heard!

Meal is on your own; CE is free for MPhA members.
Location: Pickwick Restaurant and Pub, Duluth

Register Online

Grand Rapids Area Pharmacists/MPhA Town Hall

Thursday, November 9, 5:30-8 p.m. CST

Come join your colleagues in Northern Minnesota for a chance to network, learn and share with one another while having your voices heard! GRAPh’s host and President is MPhA member Heather Bibeau of Big Forks Valley Health System. You’ll have the opportunity to mix, mingle and visit with exhibitors while sharing fellowship before the dinner program. We are pleased to announce that MPhA’s Denise Frank will bring her considerable expertise to share on the current status of USP Chapter 800 and what that means for you and your organizations. Denise will share the history and content of the NIOSH List of Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs (HDs) in Healthcare Settings, and USP Chapter 800 as it applies to all pharmacies. She will also discuss the requirements and process for a pharmacy to list HDs in stock and for performing a risk assessment. Finally, the physical requirements of the pharmacy personal protective equipment (PPE), and staff training requirements will be presented. MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig will lead the Town Hall discussion. You’ll hear from Dave Johnson, RPh, retail pharmacy manager at Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, about efforts to implement the naloxone protocol. You can also share your thoughts and ideas for both future GRAPh and MPhA events. We look forward to seeing you there!

Location: Timberlake Lodge, 144 SE 17th St., Grand Rapids, Minn.
Members attend FREE. Non-members are $15.

Register Online

Did You Know?

NCPA to Discuss Impact of PBMs at FTC Public Workshop

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Oct. 16: The Federal Trade Commission will hold a workshop on November 8, 2017 entitled, “Understanding Competition in Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics.” NCPA Vice President of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Susan Pilch, JD, will present during the second session that is focused on the role in intermediaries in the drug supply chain. Susan will discuss the impact of PBMs on drug prices and community pharmacies and how PBM practices can impact the prices consumers pay for drugs.

The workshop is free and open to the public; it will be held at the FTC’s Constitution Center Auditorium, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and will be webcast live on the FTC’s website. Registration information, an agenda, directions to the FTC Conference Center, and a list of speakers will be available on the event web page. Advance registration is not required, but is strongly encouraged.