MPhA News

Small Doses

May 25, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News

MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

HealthPartners Wins PQA Award

HealthPartners received the Excellence in Quality Award last week from the Pharmacy Quality Alliance. For the past eight years, PQA has recognized health plans for achievements during its Annual Meeting. This year, eight plans received the PQA Excellence in Quality Award.

PQA Excellence in Quality Award

COP Student Wins Medicinal Chemistry Award

Hannah Skopec

MPhA Student Member Hannah Skopec has won the 2018 Ole Gisvold Medicinal Chemistry Award, which is presented to a graduating PharmD student annually by the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and the University’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

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.

Alliance fro Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Governor Vetoes Omnibus Supplemental Finance Bill

On May 23, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed SF 3656, the Omnibus Supplemental Finance bill. This veto means that SF 799d will not be enacted. The two bills included several items of consequence to pharmacy:

  • CMS Covered Outpatient Drug Rule for FFS Medicaid: pharmacy reimbursement rate, NADAQ + $10.48 and the 2% provider-wholesale tax fix; Task Force created to recommend to the legislature by February 1, 2019, a long-term solution to the outpatient prescription drug rule implementation.
  • Would prohibit pharmacy benefit manager gag orders in pharmacy contracts in Minnesota.
  • Health plans required to provide patient with the lowest cost of medication at the point of sale (co-pay claw-back prohibited).
  • Patient refill medication synchronization allowed/PBM pharmacy contract prohibition eliminated.
  • Emergency fill and data input/output allowed remotely.
  • Minnesota Opioid Stewardship Council – includes MN pharmacy representative.

It is unclear what the next steps will be for the CMS Covered Outpatient Drug Rule and other vetoed measures. The governor has previously stated that he will not call a special session. PATF Lobbyist Buck Humphrey reports that an aide to the governor, Jennifer McNerney, has repeated that stance.

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Less than Five Months to Reporting Deadline:

Minnesota Board of Pharmacy requires the completion of 30 hours of continuing education by September 30.

MPhA’s continuing education program provides more than a licensing requirement — you’ll also get the opportunity to network with your colleagues, stay on top of your professional game and practice to the top of your license. Don’t miss our Leadership Summit/House of Delegates Meeting, our Virtual Coffee Break Webinars, or Town Halls!

You can check the CE credits earned through MPhA programs by going to Log in; then scroll under Membership>Member Central>Manage Profile, and click. When you are on the Manage Profile page, look under “Content and Features” and select Professional Development. You will see all the MPhA activities you have attended. You can specify a date range, then print or email your transcript. If you need any assistance, please contact Bryan Mowry at

MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting: Traveling the Road Forward

Thursday, May 31, 2018 • 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

The 2018 Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting will be inspirational and motivational and provide you with the opportunity to network, learn and share with your peers throughout the day. The morning program will feature invigorating messages of creating change and professional advancement, tips for working across generational differences, and insights into succession and transition planning to achieve your professional advancement goals.

We will share MPhA and pharmacy’s advocacy successes in the afternoon and be challenged to lay the groundwork for future advocacy initiatives to enable pharmacists to meet the health needs of Minnesota communities. During the House of Delegates, you will hear about the State of MPhA from leadership, discuss policy proposals and new business and install MPhA’s new leadership for the year. We’ll close our day with a networking reception honoring our Past Presidents and MPhA volunteers. The day is designed to provide us with a glimpse of how far we have come to advance patient care and practice and where we need to go next.

Register Now

Register Now: MPhA Town Hall

Sunday, June 10, 2018 • 5:30-8 p.m.

Braham Community Center, Braham, Minn.

Join your colleagues in the Braham/Mora area for a chance to network, learn and share with one another while having your voices heard! MPhA Past President Brent Thompson will host the event. You’ll have the opportunity to mix, mingle and visit with exhibitors while sharing fellowship before the dinner program. This event is complimentary to MPhA members!

Christine “Tina” Larsen, PharmD, an MTM pharmacist at Allina Health System, will provide a program on pharmacogenomics and medication use — and applying it to your practice. Then MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig will provide an update on Minnesota Pharmacy’s advocacy efforts in 2018 and lead a Town Hall.

Register Now

Register Now: June 20 MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Updates to Diabetes Guidelines: A Focus on Evidence and Clinical Application of Newer Agents

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 • 11:30 a.m. • Online Webinar

Updates will be provided on the American Diabetes Association guidelines as well as the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists guidelines, with a focus on newer agents and evidence supporting use of these medications.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize and apply the 2018 clinical guidelines for the treatment of hyperglycemia;
  • Recommend appropriate anti-diabetic agents according to patient characteristics and comorbidities;
  • Apply evidence-based medicine beyond the guidelines to clinical decision making in patients with diabetes;
  • Summarize several cardiovascular outcome trials related to antidiabetic agents and apply trial data to clinical decision making.

Register Now

About Our Speakers:

Kylee Funk is clinical faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Funk provides comprehensive medication management at the University of Minnesota Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic. Her research is around the impact of CMM, pharmacist and nurse practitioner partenerships, and innovative techniques for diabetes education. Dr. Funk and Dr. Schweiss are co-directors for the Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome course.

Sarah Schweiss is clinical faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy on the Duluth campus. She also serves as the Assistant Director for the University of Minnesota's PGY-1 residency program. Dr. Schweiss provides comprehensive medication management at St. Luke's Mount Royal Medical Clinic. Her scholarly expertise lies in the realm of innovative diabetes education, interprofessional diabetes care, and novel teaching methods among ambulatory care pharmacy residency programs. Dr. Schweiss co-directs the College's Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome course with Dr. Funk, and also serves as the course director for an interprofessional diabetes experience elective.

National News

CMS Sends Clear Message to Health Plans: No More Gag Clauses

From Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, May 17: CMS has sent a letter to companies that provide Medicare prescription drug coverage in Part D explaining that so-called “gag clauses” are unacceptable, as part of the Administration-wide “American Patients First” initiative to lower prescription drug costs.

In Part D, Medicare pays prescription drug plans to cover medicines, which beneficiaries buy at a pharmacy. Gag clauses are provisions in contracts that insurance plans and their pharmacy benefit managers enter into with pharmacies. These clauses prevent pharmacists from telling patients when they could pay less for a drug by paying cash, instead of billing their insurance and paying the required copay or deductible.

Read the letter to health plans.

Rep. Ellison among House Members Calling for Price Reductions on Naloxone

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, May 21: Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is among a group of 15 House Democrats that wants the Trump administration to use federal authority to lower the price of naloxone, a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses.

In a letter to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, the Democrats said manufacturers of naloxone are raising prices simply because there’s high demand for the lifesaving drug. “Federal agencies have the authority to use patented inventions … when in the interest of the public good,” the lawmakers wrote. “The current opioid crisis requires invoking this provision.”