MPhA News

Small Doses

January 20, 2017
Breaking News
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits

National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

Breaking News

U.S. Court of Appeals Rules on Iowa PBM Reform Law

From information provided by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Pharmaceutical Care Management Association: On January 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit issued a ruling in Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. Gerhart. The ruling struck down an Iowa law that restricted tools used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) issued the following statement: “Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a decision holding that ERISA preempts an Iowa statute that sought to impose common-sense regulations upon Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). See Pharm. Care Mgmt. Ass’n v. Gerhart, No. 15-3292 (8th Cir.). Although NCPA continues to study the decision, it is deeply disappointed with the outcome. The Iowa law was meant to ensure that Iowans continue to have fair access to their prescription drug benefits and bring transparency to a PBM industry that has exploited secrecy to reap record profits at the expense of hardworking Americans… NCPA worked to protect NCPA members’ interests by filing a friend-of-the-court brief with the Eighth Circuit explaining the virtues of the Iowa statute—a point that the court did not dispute—and why it was not preempted by ERISA. NCPA will continue to study the decision and determine how best to respond on behalf of its members.”

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt said, “PBMs are part of the solution to high drug prices and use many tools to reduce prescription drug costs.” He added, “This federal appeals court decision sends an important signal that states can’t impose a patchwork of costly mandates on employers and unions that offer pharmacy benefits.”

CMS Releases Analysis of Part D DIR Fees

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an analysis related to Part D Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees and the impact of these fees on the Part D program on January 19. Read the summary. Among the findings: CMS “has observed a growing disparity between gross Part D drug costs, calculated based on costs of drugs at the point-of-sale, and net Part D drug costs, which account for all DIR.”

News from MPhA

MPhA Sets Legislative Strategy

Many thanks to the MPhA leaders who met recently to strategize for the 2017 Legislative session! We appreciate your knowledge and thoughtful work.

Support the MPhA Advocacy Fund

As previously reported in Small Doses, Buck Humphrey has been retained under contract to proactively promote the advocacy agenda of the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) through the 2017 session of the Minnesota Legislature. This financial lobbying commitment is being shared equally by MPhA and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Because of the good-faith commitment we have made, we need a commitment from you! Please participate in the education of our citizens and our legislators — and contribute financially to our important work! Read more and donate now.

Call for MPhA Committee Members!

Want to provide your input on issues important to you and your practice? Want to network and meet new colleagues? By participating in MPhA committees, you can do all this and more! You’ll also have an opportunity to play a key role in shaping MPhA’s direction and helping to advance priorities that members identify to support Minnesota pharmacists in advancing patient care. Members from all practice settings and all parts of the state are welcome. All meetings include a call-in option so you can participate by phone without the need to travel.

If you are interested in participating on a committee, please fill out our volunteer form with your information. Committee meetings are being scheduled now through the end of May. Click on the links below for details on how often each committee meets and for how long, so that you can evaluate where you can best contribute.

2016-2017 Committees include:

Get additional information on the topics covered by each committee. You must be current on your MPhA dues to participate. Thank you for volunteering your time and for your continued support of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association!

Find more information about MPhA committees.

Minnesota News

12th Annual Pharmacy Gala

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy invites pharmacists to celebrate the 12th Annual Pharmacy Gala on Saturday, February 11, 2017, beginning at 8 p.m. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Northstar Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

The Pharmacy Gala commemorates a first year pharmacy student, Michelle Mentzer, who passed away from leukemia in 2005. The money raised from the gala goes toward the Michelle Mentzer Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a pharmacy student who exemplifies outstanding qualities. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit the COP website.

Use Your Member Benefits

Get Smart about Your Student Loan Repayment Options: MPhA Membership Benefit

When most pharmacists begin practicing, they’ve incurred steep education debt. When pharmacist borrowers learn about loan relief programs and correctly implement them, they reduce a major source of stress and save thousands of dollars on their student loans. MPhA is partnering with Navigate, LLC for student loan expert advice.

Through this benefit you will discover:

  • Is Public Service Loan Forgiveness right for me?
  • Will the new Revised Pay As You Earn repayment plan lower my payments?
  • Does private consolidation and refinance make sense for my situation?

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!

Compliance Readiness Tools

Check out InfiniTrak’s Podcast Series about the Drug Supply Chain Security Act

The latest episode of the Pharmacy Podcast brings you more Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) education with InfiniTrak’s Denise Garcia sharing her latest insights on the law and how InfiniTrak brings a cost-effective software solution to track and trace requirements that put you in the driver’s seat, controlling your information, ensuring your compliance, and freeing up your time to spend with patients.

Listen now!

MPhA has partnered with InfiniTrak, the premiere cloud-based software-as-a-service DSCSA compliance solution to ensure you have the latest information regarding the law and the opportunity to have access to their affordable DSCSA Compliance solution at an additional discount. CLICK HERE to register today or use Affiliation Code 7624e when subscribing. For more information on the DSCSA, be sure to check out MPhA’s on-demand Virtual Coffee Break Webinar on Fakes and Frauds in the Pharmacy (another free benefit of MPhA membership!).

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 an pharmacy professional. E-learning is ideal for those who are unable to travel or are looking for educational opportunities in between conferences. The program provides opportunities to obtain CEs from the comfort of your home or office with both live and on-demand options. View the archive. 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

FDA Center for Drug Evaluation & Research Releases Novel Drugs Summary

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) has released its sixth annual Novel Drugs Summary. Each year, CDER approves hundreds of new medications, most of which are variations of previously existing products, such as important new dosage forms of already-approved products, or cost-saving generic formulations. These new products contribute to quality of care, greater access to medication, more consumer choice, and a competitive marketplace that enhances affordability and public health. However, a small subset of these new approvals, referred to as novel drugs, are among the more innovative products that often help advance clinical care to another level. At the end of each calendar year, CDER summarizes these new products.

CMCS Highlights Value of Pharmacist Prescribing

From National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations: On January 17, 2017, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) issued an informational bulletin highlighting the opportunity for pharmacists to help address public health needs. The document discusses several examples of medications that can be prescribed by pharmacists in some states such as naloxone, nicotine cessation products, and immunizations. It concludes with strong support for the concept of pharmacist prescribing to address public health needs:
“State flexibilities in expanding the ability of pharmacists to prescribe, modify, or monitor drug therapy for certain medications may be effective at helping to address such issues by improving access to care. CMCS encourages states to consider using these methods to promote access particularly to those drugs that can help address priority public health issues.”

Read the Bulletin

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Biosimilar Interchangeability

On January 17, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a draft guidance for industry, Considerations in Demonstrating Interchangeability with a Reference Product. Comments and suggestions regarding the 30-page draft should be submitted within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register.

The guidance is intended to assist sponsors in demonstrating that a proposed therapeutic protein product is interchangeable with a reference product for the purposes of submitting a marketing application or supplement under the Public Health Service Act. This guidance is one in a series that FDA is developing to implement the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BCPI Act).

Registration Open for Independent Pharmacy Conference

The Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) has opened registration for the Independent Pharmacy Conference 2017, scheduled for April 6-9 in Scottsdale, AZ. According to Don Anderson, CEO, the annual event is now open to any pharmacy without regard to which wholesaler or buying group the pharmacy belongs. Get full details and register.

NCPA Asks President-Elect to Scrutinize PBMs

From National Community Pharmacists Association: NCPA sent a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump urging his Administration to examine the role pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play in escalating prescription drug prices. NCPA's letter describes how these drug middlemen have evolved, growing "over the past few decades from prescription processing companies into enormous corporations that hold the key to rising prescription drug costs and operate in a virtual black box...These companies have morphed into little-regulated entities that exploit their strategic position at the 'middle' of nearly all drug transactions in the U.S., to extract profits from the upstream and downstream participants in the drug supply chain while providing questionable value to the ultimate consumer."

NCPA urges the Trump Administration to "closely scrutinize PBM corporations and demand much greater transparency from these entities. Cleaning up the role of PBMs is instrumental to addressing prescription drug prices." In addition, NCPA outlined how independent community pharmacies can help reduce spending while improving health outcomes.

MPhA Events

Register Now for Pharmacy Legislative Day!

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is one of our most popular advocacy and educational events all year! Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, at the newly renovated Best Western Capitol Ridge, just a few short blocks from the Minnesota Capitol. Our excellent line-up of speakers includes Heidi Ecker, Director of Government Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Whether you are new to advocacy and politics or an experienced pharmacy advocate, this event is for you! With nearly a month to go, we already have nearly 50 attendees registered!

Sponsor Pharmacy Legislative Day

Register Online

Join Us at Midwest Pharmacy Expo!

This year’s Midwest Pharmacy Expo agenda features up to 15.5 hours of the high-quality, live CPE that Expo is known for, including pharmacy law and patient safety topics. The deadline to reserve your lodging at the Expo rate of $99/night is coming up soon, on January 26! Call the hotel at 515-287-2400 to make your reservation. Because of other events scheduled for the same weekend, it will be difficult to find a hotel room if you miss the deadline.

Expo starts with the Ambulatory Care Advancement Conference on Friday, February 17, 2017, discussing hot topics and emerging issues facing ambulatory care practice and promote forward-thinking pharmacy practice models that integrate pharmacists on the ambulatory health care team.

Expo Saturday will feature a keynote by Bob Chiusano, author of Mediocrity is Not an Option, to get the day off to an inspiring start! After that, enjoy five breakout sessions featuring 3 tracks for pharmacists: Current News Headlines, Clinical Pearls, and Management.

Expo will wrap up on Sunday with long-time favorites New Drug Update and Gamechangers with a review of compliancy issues sandwiched between them. All of this plus the opportunity to network with colleagues from across the Midwest! See the full agenda and register today!

Register Now for APhA’s MTM Certificate Training Program

Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services

Join us on Thursday, May 4, for a full-day training program that qualifies you to register as a provider with Minnesota Medicaid and conduct and receive payment for Medication Therapy Management services. The program will be held at the Ewald Conference Center, 1000 Westgate Dr., St. Paul.

Our facilitators will be Jordan Wolf, PharmD, Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, Consultant Pharmacist, Thrifty White Pharmacy, and Michelle A. Johnson, BCACP, Pharmacist, Fairview Pharmacy Services. APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services certificate training program has three components: online interactive self-study with assessment; the live seminar with online evaluation; and post-seminar case exercise. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all program components, including an evaluation. Register no later than April 1 to get started on the self-study portion of the program!

Register Online

Did you Know?

Another Tool to Help Your Patients Understand the Need for HPV Vaccine

The Minnesota Department of Health has shared a video produced by the American Cancer Society that shows how cervical cancer and treatment affected a patient. During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, encourage your patients to get two shots to stop cancer.

HPV vaccine protects against cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. HPV is a very common virus; nearly 80 million people—about one in four—are currently infected in the United States. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year.

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