MPhA News

Small Doses

February 9, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Student Pharmacists Share “Leading Change” Projects

Several MPhA Board and Committee members, including Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig, participated with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Leadership Emphasis student pharmacists during this week’s Leadership Networking Event. Many MPSA and MPhA student pharmacists are part of the emphasis track that grounds these future pharmacists with a solid understanding of leadership skills individually and across teams to help advance patient care. Yesterday’s program featured the student pharmacists describing their “leading change” projects and their inspiration for creating them.

SAVE THE DATE: March 24, 2018

The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation will hold an exclusive 4-course wine tasting dinner with a gathering hour preceding at the Lilydale Pool and Yacht Club on Saturday, March 24, 2018. The menu is being custom created by chef Kevin Gillis to match the wines. Dinner is limited to 50 people. Watch for more details next week!

2018 Board of Directors Nominations Due One Week from Today

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 Friday, 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 that 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:

  • 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

PATF Key Legislative Issues

The Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force has prepared several issue briefs on topics that would expand health care access to Minnesotans by allowing pharmacists to practice to their levels of education and expertise. Review these issue briefs — and prepare to talk about them on Pharmacy Legislative Day later this month!

Flu Still Widespread in Minnesota

From MDH Weekly Influenza & Respiratory Illness Activity Report, Feb. 2: During the week ending February 3, 2018 (Week 5), surveillance indicators showed widespread geographic spread of influenza. The number of hospitalizations related to flu dropped significantly from the previous week, but the 2017-2018 season is shaping up to be one of the worst in the past 6 years. Only one pediatric death related to influenza has been reported for the current season.

From CDC Twitter feed: Wondering whether a flu patient needs antiviral treatment? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a flowchart designed to help clinicians decide when antivirals may be appropriate.

Your Input Needed: Survey on Birth Control Access in Pharmacies

From Women’s Health Practice and Research Network Research Group: Community pharmacists are invited to participate in an online survey study of pharmacists in the United States regarding access to contraception in pharmacies. This study is being conducted by members of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Women’s Health Practice and Research Network. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

This survey is being administered by Integrated Business Services, Inc., an independent research firm. This survey is confidential. No personal identifiers will be collected and all results will be presented in aggregate form only. Additional details are available in the online survey at the link below.

To thank participants, there will be a drawing for an iPad Mini. You can enter the drawing upon completing the survey. To participate, please follow this link:

Use Your Member Benefits

MPhA Partners with AAA for Member Discount

MPhA has partnered with AAA to provide members, their families and friends with a 15% discount on new and renewal AAA membership. In addition to the well-known AAA roadside assistance, AAA membership provides significant discounts on travel, touring services, car care and insurance. AAA has discounts with more than 160,000 partners. If you already hold AAA membership, you’ll save on renewal dues with this benefit. For both new and renewal memberships, contact MPhA’s AAA representative, Scott Dieter, at 507-258-6366 or

National News

Use Your Voice to Make a Difference

From APhA Email, Feb. 2: ASHP and ACPE are in the process of revising the ASHP/ACPE Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Programs. ASHP and ACPE highly value your review of this draft and your thoughtful feedback and comments.

Comments, both general and specific, are welcomed and encouraged and must be received by March 23, 2018, to facilitate progress towards development of the final Standards. Please note, for specific comments, indicate the corresponding line number, standard number, and key element number at the start of each comment. Comments and/or suggested edits may be submitted either via:

Email to:; or, In writing to:

Accreditation Services Office
ASHP 4500 East-West Highway, Suite 900 Bethesda, MD 20814

These Standards were revised with input from a broad range of stakeholders, interested in or affected by pharmacy technician education and training, and have undergone an extensive revision process. The Preamble in the revised Standards provides a summary of the draft changes. These Standards were last revised in 2015, and a number of environmental factors prompted ASHP and ACPE to conduct a careful reassessment at this time. These factors included:

  • The experience gained by the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Commission (PTAC) in its accreditation reviews since the adoption of the current standards.
  • Expansion of the scope of pharmacy practice in state laws and regulations to address the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of pharmacy technicians.
  • The review of the latest blue print and/or task analysis of nationally accredited pharmacy technician certifying bodies.
  • Feedback from the 2017 Pharmacy Technician Stakeholder Consensus Conference regarding the need for revised entry-level pharmacy technician education and training including considerations for the revision, as well as the need for the development of advanced-level education and training standards.

ASHP and ACPE value your input in this important revision exercise and thank you, in anticipation, for your thoughtful review and feedback. Your continued commitment to the profession of pharmacy and to pharmacy technician education and training is greatly appreciated.

CMS Part D Addresses Opioid Epidemic, Mail Order Pharmacy

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Feb. 2: The annual “call letter” contains information on Part C and Part D programs that plans need to take into consideration in preparing their bids for the upcoming year. Of specific note, the draft 2019 call letter released Feb. 1 focused on the following areas that may impact pharmacists:

  • Opioid Overuse: CMS proposes new strategies to give plans “additional tools to better manage chronic opioid overuse among beneficiaries by ensuring patient-doctor-plan communication regarding opioid use.” This includes revising Pharmacy Quality Alliance (“PQA”) measures and implementing a supply limit for initial fills of prescription opioids for the treatment of acute pain with or without a daily dose maximum.
  • Part D Mail-Order Refill Consent Policy: CMS is seeking comments on potential changes to its policy on beneficiary consent prior to shipping refills of mail-order prescriptions. Specifically, CMS requests data to show adherence or cost-savings for beneficiaries under its current policy.
  • Enhancements to the 2019 Star Ratings and Future Measurement Concepts: CMS adds parameters around the measures that plans can use to determine the quality of and reflect the experience of beneficiaries in Prescription Drug Plans. This year’s enhancement proposals include the addition of the Statin Use in Persons with Diabetes (“SUPD”) measure. CMS also proposes the removal of the beneficiary access and performance problems (“BAPP”) measure.

NCPA will submit comments to CMS encouraging the agency to consider the impact on beneficiaries and pharmacies when setting parameters for 2019 Part D plans.

FAQ on Patents and Exclusivity

From FDA, Feb. 2: Patents and Exclusivity are often confused and misunderstood. A new FAQ document from FDA explains the terms. A good primer or review for every pharmacist.

USP Offers New Mobile App on Hazardous Drugs

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Feb. 2: USP has released a mobile app that combines information from three data resources (NIOSH, RxNorm, General Chapter <800>) to help identify hazardous drugs at the point of practice and to inform health care workers about measures to take to help reduce their risk in accordance with established standards. Click here to download HazRX.

MPhA Events

Register Today for Midwest Pharmacy Expo

February 16-18, 2018 • Des Moines, IA

The 2018 Midwest Pharmacy Expo kicks off a week from today 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. Nearly 100 people have already registered, putting us near the halfway point on capacity. Don’t miss out!

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

8th Annual 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. The Independent Pharmacy Conference events are specially catered to help independent pharmacies grow and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. Attendees are sure to leave the conference energized and ready to return to their pharmacy with new ideas for success. This event is co-sponsored by Pace-IPC, the American Pharmacy Services Corporation, RxPlus Pharmacies, the Independent Pharmacy Alliance and other organizations. Visit for additional details and to register.

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?

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Offers Grants for Clinical Scholars

Pharmacists are trusted resources in the clinic and the community. They guide and safeguard their patients; advise physicians, nurses and other providers on medication decisions; and provide population-based care. They are essential members in cross-sector teams collaborating to address the nation’s worst health problems. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation seeks pharmacists to join teams of other health care providers in Clinical Scholars, a national leadership development program. Applications are open now — get started today!