MPhA News

Small Doses

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

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

Nearly 200 pharmacists, student pharmacists and others attended Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day this week. We are thrilled with the excellent turnout, plus the excellent work by these advocates to meet with legislators throughout the capitol complex! A record 75 visits were made.

A bipartisan panel in the evening was also a huge success. Representatives Dave Baker, Matt Dean and Glenn Gruenhagen and Senators Scott Jensen, Tony Lourey and Melissa Wiklund outlined support for many pharmacy initiatives (photo below).

View more photos from the event at the MPhA Facebook page. Thanks to our members who tweeted about Legislative Day, too! We even had some high-profile legislators — including Senate President/Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach — tweeting on our behalf.

Follow MPhA on Twitter — our handle is @MinnPharmAssoc.

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: Foundation Wine Dinner, March 24, 2018

Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation logo

The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation (MPF) will hold an exclusive 4-course wine pairing dinner with a gathering time 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 from Sebastiani, Marietta and Santa Margherita. The event is limited to 50 people. Registration will be ready early next week. Watch for more details soon!

Minnesota News

Gag Clauses: Why Your Pharmacist Can’t Tell You that $20 Prescription Could Cost Only $8

“Gag clauses” in insurance contracts are receiving state and national attention. This week at Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day, Rep. Matt Dean announced he would introduce a bill to address this negative practice in the Minnesota Legislature. A good overview of the issue appeared in the New York Times earlier this week.

From New York Times, Feb. 25: As consumers face rapidly rising drug costs, states across the country are moving to block “gag clauses” that prohibit pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash for prescription drugs rather than using their health insurance.

Many pharmacists have expressed frustration about such provisions in their contracts with the powerful companies that manage drug benefits for insurers and employers. The clauses force the pharmacists to remain silent as, for example, a consumer pays $125 under her insurance plan for an influenza drug that would have cost $100 if purchased with cash. Read the full article.

DHS Introduces Refined Next Steps on Outcome-Based Purchasing

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has posted a summary of community feedback from 74 individuals and organizations. Through a series of community meetings and a formal request for comment, DHS has engaged in a conversation with Minnesotans on ways to create more patient-focused, flexible financing, community-driven care and continued tax-payer savings. Health care providers have been instrumental in building and improving this model, since its inception. Read an earlier IHP request for information and summary of community responses from 2016. This framework was built from those previous responses and feedback over the life of the IHP program. Read an overview of the most recent community feedback and DHS’ refined plans.

Timeline for responding to feedback

The Department of Human Services will continue information gathering and community conversations on the Next Generation IHP model through the summer of 2018. DHS will lay the groundwork for the Next Generation IHP approach by introducing a preferred drug list, to unify enrollees' medication experiences across coverage types and plans, in July 2019.

Procurement for the Families and Children contracts will be conducted separately for the seven-county metro area and for the non-metro area. Staging and timing of those procurements will be informed by the continuing conversation; however, the earliest a procurement will be conducted would be for contract year 2020.

Learn more

The Integrated Health Partnerships program has improved access to care and health outcomes for public program enrollees, reduced hospital admissions by 14 percent, decreased emergency room visits by 7 percent, and saved the state more than $212 million since 2012. For more information on the next generation of Integrated Health Partnerships, visit the website.

MDH: Medical Cannabis Helps Relieve Pain for Significant Number of Patients

A new study from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) shows that 42% of Minnesota’s patients who are taking medical cannabis for intractable pain reported a reduction in pain of 30% or more. The study also found that of the 353 patients who self-reported taking opioid medications when they started using medical cannabis, 63 percent or 221 reduced or eliminated opioid use after six months. Read more at the MDH website.

MPSA Annual Fundraiser Set for April 27

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:

  1. Glucose monitoring
  2. Cholesterol checks
  3. Blood pressure readings
  4. Influenza vaccination clinics
  5. Medication safety presentations in local schools and churches
  6. Diabetes screenings and counseling
  7. 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.

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

Ten ERs in Colorado Succeed at Reducing Opioid Use

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, Feb. 23: Ten Colorado hospitals participated in a 6-month pilot program launched by the Colorado Hospital Association. The goal was to reduce opioid use by 15% — but the doctor who help develop and lead the study says the hospitals actually lowered use by 36% on average. Read the full article.

NABP Launches Upgraded e-Profile System

This is an informational notice that the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) electronic application services will be temporarily down March 20-April 2, 2018 to launch its new e-Profile system interface.

Learners will not be able to access their NABP e-Profiles during this two-week update period; however ACPE-accredited providers will still be able to submit credit and continue transmission to CPE Monitor® during this time. For further information, see NABP’s website memo regarding this update here.

MPhA Events

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: Pharmacy Professional Liability — Lessons Learned from an Ongoing Study of over 10,000 Claims

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 • 11:30 a.m. CDT

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 the mistakes. No other organization has the kind of 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.

Registration Fees

  • Our Virtual Coffee Break webinars are complimentary for MPhA members.
  • The cost is $25 for nonmembers.

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?

U.S. Justice Department Backs Lawsuit against Opioid Manufacturers

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, February 28: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Justice Department plans to file a statement of interest in an Ohio lawsuit. The lawsuit targets “opioid manufacturers and distributors for allegedly using false, deceptive, and unfair marketing of opioid drugs.” The lawsuit pending in Federal District Court in Cleveland consolidates more than 400 complaints by cities, counties and Native American tribes nationwide. Read more.