MPhA News

Small Doses

February 2, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Pharmacy 101 with Legislative Staffers

Many thanks to MPhA and MSHP leaders, PATF Lobbyist Buck Humphrey and several student pharmacists who participated in a “Pharmacy 101” educational session with staff members from the Minnesota House of Representatives on Jan. 31. Molly Ekstrand, Pamela Phelps, Amanda Schroepfer and Buck Humphrey made presentations. Student pharmacists included Kyler Anderson, Callahan Clarke, Karna Kaiser, Aliana Taylor and David Vermeulen. Park Nicollet Resident Kristen Howlett and University of Minnesota Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Resident Kaity Kuske also participated. MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig and President Michelle Aytay also attended the session.

Student Pharmacists Participate in Health Fair

On Jan. 28, student pharmacists from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy participated in the First Health Fair for Puerto Rican Families that moved to Minnesota after Hurricane Maria. The students provided blood pressure checks and glucose testing.

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 will continue to showcase these Mission Moments as part of Small Doses. If you have an example to share, please send it to Laurie Pumper

2018 Board of Directors Nominations

The MPhA Leadership Development Committee is looking for members who are interested to serve on the Board of Directors and begin a two-year term in June 2018. We need the best skills, passion, and varied perspectives to build an energetic, inclusive, and strategic governing Board. Serving on the MPhA board of directors is an opportunity to provide leadership and direction to the association as we strive to meet our mission: Serving Minnesota pharmacists to advance patient care. With health reform implementation rapidly underway, it is a very exciting time to be at the table to discuss the changes that are occurring and help chart the course for the profession.

The deadline for submitting your nomination is February 16 , 2018.

If serving on the MPhA Board of Directors interests you, please fill out the online Call for Nominations form.

The Board of Directors is composed of the following members: President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, the Speaker and Vice Speaker of the House, two rural and two metro directors elected from nominees put forward by the districts/regional groups, five directors at-large elected from nominees put forward by the academies, a pharmacy technician ex-officio representative and ex-officio representatives of associate organizations. MPhA’s Board of Directors can recognize associate organizations who are comprised of pharmacists or student pharmacists that are independent of MPhA, but share common interests, members, and need for inter-organizational communication and coordination. Associate organizations are granted one seat on the MPhA Board of Directors ex officio without vote which they may choose to exercise. The Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (MN-ASCP), the Minnesota College of Clinical Pharmacists (MCCP) and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy are associate organizations. Staggered terms have been established so that each year there are board positions up for re-election. This means the opportunity for fresh new ideas from energetic pharmacists to participate and make a difference!
In 2018, MPhA is seeking nominees/applicants for:

  • 1 Speaker of the House Position
  • 1 Vice-Speaker of the House Position
  • 2 Member-at-Large Positions
  • 1 Metro Board Member Position
  • 2 Rural Board Member Positions

The MPhA board of directors meets on a monthly basis with alternating 3-hour meetings (in person), and 1-hour meetings (via conference call). The incoming MPhA President has discretion to modify the schedule to best meet the needs of the board and the association. Board members are expected to bring issues to the board meetings on behalf of their constituency. Board members play an important role as liaisons to committees and participate in welcoming new pharmacists to the profession.

To learn more about the board of directors and MPhA, contact To apply, please submit your nomination now.

Minnesota News

Minnesota and New York Sue HHS Over Funding for ACA Program

From ASHP Daily Briefing, Jan. 29: Bloomberg News (Jan. 26, Recht) reported that HHS is being sued for allegedly attempting “to financially starve two state-run health care programs that serve almost 1 million low-income Americans.” The suit, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan, accused HHS of waiting “until a day before Affordable Care Act payments were due to notify New York and Minnesota by email that more than $1 billion in annual funding was being cut off.” The article said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the program a “lifeline” for 700,000 residents. The article added that although President Trump has not been able to repeal the ACA, “his administration has sought to undermine it in a variety of other ways, including cutting funding to various programs and ending the individual mandate through the recent tax overhaul.”

The Associated Press (Jan. 26) reported that New York and Minnesota are the only two states which implemented this ACA program. Most participants — “more than 700,000 — are in New York state,” and “most of the funding — $1 billion-plus — went to New York.” Minnesota, which has some 87,000 residents in the program, received $130 million annually. Reuters (Jan. 26, Pierson) reported that the two states “operate so-called Basic Health Programs, a type of health insurance plan for low-income residents authorized by the law, according to Schneiderman’s statement.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (Jan. 27, Howatt) reported that Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson joined Schneiderman in filing the suit. The article said that this cut “is the second hit to the federal funding streams for MinnesotaCare, which serves 87,000 low-income residents.”

MTM Networking Event Recap

Thanks to those who organized and attended a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Academy event on Jan. 31 in Minneapolis! Nearly 20 people joined in the camaraderie and community at Utepils Brewing Co.

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

Pharmacist Testifies about Compounding at U.S. House Hearing

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Jan. 26: The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) was invited to testify at a Jan. 30 hearing of the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee entitled “Examining Implementation of the Compounding Quality Act”. Appearing on behalf of NCPA members was Jake Olson, pharmacist and owner of Skywalk Pharmacy in Milwaukee, Wisc., and a member of NCPA’s Compounding Steering Committee.

After hearing from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, lawmakers listened to a panel featuring Olson and witnesses from PharMEDium Services; the American Academy of Dermatology; a patient harmed by the NECC fungal meningitis outbreak; the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Fresenius Kabi; and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Olson’s written testimony, and that of most witnesses, is available online. Among other points, Olson’s testimony stressed the critical role compounding plays in meeting unique patient needs and, at times, during drug shortages; highlighted both non-sterile and sterile compounded office-use products that community healthcare providers rely on from NCPA members; and outlined recommended changes in FDA’s approach.

Related: The Justice Department announced Jan. 25 that it will stop “using its civil enforcement authority to convert agency guidance documents into binding rules,” a change that could potentially impact FDA’s existing approach to compounding, which has relied in part on guidance documents.

21 Senators Urge CMS to Adopt Revisions to Pharmacy DIR Fees

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Jan. 26: U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) organized a letter expressing bipartisan support to CMS for its proposed approach to pharmacy DIR fees. NCPA staff led a concerted effort, along with its pharmacy stakeholder allies, to generate support for the letter and against strong opposition from PBM advocates.

The following Senators also signed the letter: Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Angus King (I-Maine), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

PBM advocates and affiliated organizations urged U.S. House lawmakers to join a letter by Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) to oppose the CMS Part D proposal. NCPA and others aggressively urged members not to sign that letter.

Separately, House Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-Texas), House Energy & Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote CMS to ask that the agency follow a separate rulemaking process before adopting any changes to regulating manufacturer rebate and pharmacy DIR fees in Medicare Part D. Meanwhile, HHS touted the proposed Part D rule in a new report “highlighting accomplishments from 2017.” It noted the potential savings for “seniors at the pharmacy counter” and separate provisions, NCPA also supports, “revising the pharmacy participation rules in Part D, promoting greater participation of local pharmacies and expanding beneficiary access to all types of pharmacy delivery services, including mail-order” by community pharmacies.

MPhA Events

Early Registration Ends Today for Midwest Pharmacy Expo

February 16-18, 2018 • Des Moines, IA

Today is the final day to get discounted registration for the Midwest Pharmacy Expo.
The 2018 Midwest Pharmacy Expo kicks off on Friday, Feb. 16, with Clinically Intensive Workshops. The day features 6.5 hours’ worth of high-level clinical CPE designed for pharmacists with advanced certifications or who want to be clinically challenged.

Saturday features three CPE tracks (Current Headlines, Optimizing Medication Use, and Cardiology) over five sessions. Mix and match to fit your practice setting, expertise or curiosity! Saturday’s program also includes a keynote from Jacques Turgeon, BPharm, PhD, chief scientific officer at Tabula Rasa Healthcare. The Expo wraps up on Sunday with a New Drug Update, Gamechangers and a timely session with Don McGuire, RPh, JD, from Pharmacists Mutual on minimizing risks as the roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians continue to expand.

Join us for a full weekend of high quality live CPE and plenty of networking opportunities with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists from across the Midwest! See the full agenda and register today!

Register Now! Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 • Best Western Capitol Ridge, St. Paul

Make a difference to advocate for your professional interests and for pharmacy’s interests to advance patient care — come to Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day! Even if you have never talked with, called or written your legislators before, this event will give you the tools you need to do so! Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is the one annual event that represents the voice of all pharmacy settings in Minnesota.

Learn about the issues, gain the tools you need to advocate, and network with colleagues and the policymakers who will support pharmacy issues. The day is broken into a morning session, afternoon at the Capitol and an evening reception and program, complete with meals throughout the day and more than 5 hours of continuing education! Best yet, this year’s event is right on the Capitol grounds at the Best Western Capitol Ridge with complimentary parking and within an easy walk of all your meetings.

Support MN Pharmacy Advocacy

Independent Pharmacy Conference 2018

April 26-29, 2018 • Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Discover solutions together at the Independent Pharmacy Conference — network with other independent pharmacy owners and managers, plus meet key vendor contacts and industry leaders. Learn and earn 9 continuing education credits with presentations on hot-button topics. This event is co-sponsored by Pace-IPC, the American Pharamacy Services Corporation, RxPlus Pharmacies, the Independent Pharmacy Alliance and other organizations. Visit for additional details and to register.

“To Really See” Exhibit at UMN Bio-Medical Library

Reception on February 1, Exhibit Available until April 30

The "To Really See" art exhibit is now on display at the Bio-Medical Library on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The exhibit is open until April 30. A reception will be held on Feb. 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Bio-Medical Library area. A partial exhibit of the same material is now at St. Luke's Hospital (Duluth).

"To Really See" is an exhibit where patient-medication-user artists describe their medication-taking experiences through art. Much of the exhibit focuses on mental illness. Jes Reyes (Avivo ArtWorks, Minneapolis) and Paul L Ranelli, BSPharm, PhD, FAFPE, FAPhA, are the co-coordinators of the project.

Interprofessional Conference on Health Care for Older Adults

March 1, 2018 • Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul, MN

It is projected that by the year 2050, the number of people age 65 and older in the U.S. will double from approximately 40 million to 80 million. As the number of older adults increases, more are living with chronic medical conditions requiring treatment with multiple medications. In addition, many older adults are faced with functional, psychosocial, and economic challenges. The goal of this conference is to enhance participant knowledge and competencies in providing care to older adults as part of the interprofessional team to improve health outcomes.

Registration Fees
General Admission: $150
Student: $50

Did You Know?

This Flu Season Is Worst in Nearly a Decade

From New York Times, Jan. 26: Federal health officials say the current influenza season is more intense than any since the swine flu epidemic of 2009, and it is still getting worse. The CDC still recommends that individuals who have not yet been vaccinated again influenza do so. Read the full press article.

Respond Today: Survey on Flu Vaccine Supply

From National Adult Immunization Summit and National Influenza Vaccine Summit, Jan. 29: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health departments, the Immunization Action Coalition and other Summit partners have recently received inquiries about influenza vaccine supply for the current season.

The Summit is asking pharmacists and others to help provide information about influenza vaccine supply by completing the short survey at the link below. This survey is entirely voluntary. You have the option to report anonymously or to provide contact information if you would like to share any additional information about your experience this influenza season. The information you provide will be reported in the aggregate only.

Complete the quick questionnaire.

The survey is open until Friday, February 2, 2018.