MPhA News

Small Doses

February 23, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
Use Your Member Benefits
National News
MPhA Events
Did You Know?

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPSA Members Help with Legislative Day Preparations

Thanks to members of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance who met with MSHP Public Policy Committee Co-Chairs Pamela Phelps and John Pastor, MPhA President Michelle Aytay, Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force Lobbyist Buck Humphrey, and resident Kaity Kuske yesterday to assist with preparations for next week's Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day.

MPSA Members

Students Provide Patient Care during Chinese New Year

Thanks to the Multicultural Pharmacy Student Organization — volunteers were at the Mall of America during Chinese New Year celebrations to provide patient care on Feb. 17.

Chinese New Year Celebration

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


SAVE THE DATE: March 24, 2018

Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation logo

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 soon!

2018 Board of Directors Nominations Due 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 today, February 23, 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), 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

2018 Legislature Now in Session: Pharmacists Are Part of the Solution

The Minnesota House and Senate legislative session was gaveled in on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The start of the second year of the Minnesota Legislative Session is known as the “short” and/or “bonding” session/year. The legislature must adjourn by May 21. The Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force (PATF) is putting on a full-court press this year to help Minnesota pharmacists have the opportunity to practice at the top of their license. We hope to have hearings, see movement and hopefully enactment of legislative proposals that the PATF is advocating for. Read the full article.

MPSA Annual Fundraiser Set for April 27

The Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA) is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 400 University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy students. The organization is committed to the advancement of the pharmacy profession and the development of student pharmacists by providing extracurricular opportunities that foster professional engagement. The funds raised from the MPSA annual auction will go toward professional development opportunities for pharmacy students and sponsorship of health care related community outreach events in Minnesota.

MPSA members provide community outreach through several service projects across Minnesota and internationally. All screenings and services are provided to patients free of charge and include:

  • Glucose monitoring
  • Cholesterol checks
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Influenza vaccination clinics
  • Medication safety presentations in local schools and churches
  • Diabetes screenings and counseling
  • Education on appropriate over-the-counter medication use and medication adherence

More information about the specifics of the auction and MPSA can be found at

The Auction will be held on Friday, April 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. at The Campus Club at the Minneapolis East Bank campus. If you or your colleagues want to attend this event and/or donate to MPSA, please complete the RSVP form.

DHS Divisions Are Combining

The Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Mental Health Divisions will be integrated into a unified division. This is to better serve Minnesotans, many of whom experience both mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

DHS would like your help with choosing a name. Over the past several months, the department worked internally to create a short list of names that it believes reflect the work and mission of the two divisions. Take the survey and let the department know what you think. There may be other names you believe to be a better fit, so space is available for you to share those suggestions as well.

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 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. Senate, House Review Health Care Industry

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Feb. 16: At a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on concentration in the health care system, concern raised by NCPA about the PBM marketplace was among the dominant themes.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) explored whether PBM consolidation contributed to higher prices for insulin. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) echoed the concern. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) lamented that PBM and drug store consolidation has adversely impacted patient access to their preferred local pharmacy provider. The witnesses, academic experts, noted that PBMs are the least transparent entities in the health care system. NCPA sent a letter for the record explaining that PBM consolidation is contributing to higher drug costs and creating access barriers for patients.

Separately, and also reflecting in part NCPA's continuous efforts to engage policymakers, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation also discussed PBM consolidation at the confirmation hearing for four Federal Trade Commission nominees. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) questioned PBM conflicts of interest as well as leveling the playing field for community pharmacies; Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) added questions about the lack of PBM transparency and the negotiation leverage PBMs have over other players in the drug supply chain; and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) related increasing drug prices to consolidation in the industry. Read more in NCPA’s blog post.

Trump Administration Budget Wish List

From NCPA Advocacy Center Update, Feb. 16: Of particular note, the budget announced Feb. 12 focused on increased oversight of opioid prescriptions and expanded treatment options as well as a proposal to evaluate the sharing of a portion of manufacturer rebates with Medicare beneficiaries at point of sale.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an accompanying briefing in support for the budget, arguing that specifically the requirement for Part D plans to apply a substantial portion of rebates and price concessions at the point-of-sale would lead to greater price transparency, realigned incentives and allow beneficiaries to share directly in the savings from discounts negotiated by the plans, while acknowledging that overall program costs could increase. This is encouraging language, but it is important to remember that the President’s budget serves as mainly a framework for policy goals, most of which are subject to Congressional action. Read more on NCPA’s initial reaction.

MPhA Events

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 160 people have already registered, leaving less than 30 seats remaining. 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.

Minnesota Professional Pharmacists Society Meets on March 20

The Minnesota Professional Pharmacists Society (MPPS) was organized in the 1990s as an organization for senior pharmacists to meet and maintain old friendships. The group meets monthly at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bloomington for lunch and a presentation eligible for state board CE credit. MPPS is actively seeking and welcomes new members including pharmacists, those from the pharmacy industry, and technicians. Meetings are held the third Tuesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. It is suggested you confirm ahead before your first visit. The next meeting will be held on March 20, 2018.

Save the Date: MPhA Virtual Coffee Break, March 21

Pharmacy Professional Liability: Lessons Learned from an Ongoing Study

The Pharmacists Mutual Claims Study was started in 1989 by Ken Baker, a pharmacist/ lawyer at the company. While the majority of the company's claims come from independent community pharmacies, there are claims from many different practice sites: hospitals, long-term care, compounding pharmacies, and chain pharmacies. The Claims Study was started to gather the claims that were being reported and organize the information in a manner that allowed other pharmacists to learn from their mistakes. No other organization has access to the claims information Pharmacists Mutual does. The Claims Study today has over 12,000 records in its database, with an average of 1 to 2 such claims every day, 365 days a year.

About Our Speaker:

Kristen Jones graduated from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy in 2003 with a Doctorate of Pharmacy. Kristen has practiced in both retail and hospital pharmacy prior to starting her position at Pharmacists Mutual in 2014. She is a member of ASHP, NCPA and IACP. She currently resides in Wheatland, Wyoming.

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. Get more information and register now!

Registration Fees
General Admission: $150
Student: $50

Increasing HPV Vaccination Rates through Efficient and Effective Communication

Free Webinar • March 8, 2018 • Noon-1 p.m.

Presented by Dr. Paul Hunter, Associate Medical Director, City of Milwaukee Health Department, this webinar will discuss why immunization rates increase when clinicians give strong recommendations for HPV vaccination; why fewer parents and patients are hesitant about vaccinations than most clinicians think; and why incorporating a blended model of directive statements and non-judgmental listening may be an efficient and effective method of recommending and administering vaccinations.

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program

Co-hosted by Fairview Pharmacy Services and MPhA • April 22, 2018 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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.

Faculty: John Creasy, RPh, Melanie Schwartz, RPh, and Laurie Deegan, RPh, all with Fairview Pharmacy Services

The deadline to register for this program is April 11.

2018 Readmissions Action Learning Day: "Working Together to Make Readmissions Rare"

April 30, 2018 • 8:30 am - 5:00 pm CT

Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network invites you to register for the 2018 Readmissions Action Learning Day: "Working Together to Make Readmissions Rare." Learn together with your community peers and develop collaborative approaches to improving quality of care and quality of life by keeping patients healthy and safe at home.

Sessions will highlight innovative and evidence-based strategies for collaborative approaches to improving coordination with care partners, designing a better care experience, engaging with patients and providers in new ways, and addressing root causes of hospital readmissions. For questions, contact Ana Vergara, 952-853-8550,, or Kim McCoy, 952-853-8563,


Registration will be open at 7:15 a.m. with the conference starting promptly at 8:30 a.m.

Did You Know?

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Kratom Consumption

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, February 21: Nearly 30 people in 20 states (including North Dakota and Michigan) are believed to have been sickened by kratom (also known as Thang, Kakuam, Thom, Ketom and Biak). It is not yet known how the popular herbal supplement could have been contaminated with salmonella, nor has the CDC investigation team identified a common brand or supplier of kratom. Kratom is a plant consumed for its stimulant effects and as an opioid substitute. FDA recently reported that its studies found the kratom plant is an opioid. Read more.