MPhA News

Small Doses

June 15, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News

MPhA Events
National News


News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Successful Eastern Minnesota Pharmacy/MPhA Town Hall

More than 20 people attended the Eastern Minnesota Pharmacy/MPhA Town Hall in Braham on Sunday, June 10. Many thanks to MPhA Past President Brent Thompson and to Pharmacist Patty Lind for working to organize and host this event in partnership with MPhA! Thanks also to Tina Larsen, PharmD, who provided a program on pharmacogenomics and medication use, and to MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig for presenting information on Minnesota Pharmacy’s advocacy efforts in 2018 and leading a Town Hall.

Thanks to Brent Thompson of FirstLight Health System, Tina Larsen of Allina Health and Patty Lind of FirstLight Health System (shown left to right).

We were very pleased with the attendance at this Town Hall meeting – 23 people on a Sunday evening.

MPhA Members Participate in Meeting to Improve Adult Immunization

MPhA Board Member Michelle Johnson of Fairview Pharmacy Services and MPhA member Laura Schwartzwald of Guidepoint Pharmacy in Brainerd represented our association at a meeting called by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Regional Health Administrator for Region 5. The purpose of the one-day meeting on June 11 in Chicago was to identify strategies to improve adult immunization rates in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and tribal areas in Region 5. Two industry representatives and two representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health also attended.

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

Nominate a Friend or Colleague Today for MPhA Awards and Recognition

Do you know a pharmacist or pharmacy technician who goes above and beyond the usual? The Minnesota Pharmacists Association wants to hear from you! Help us recognize these pharmacy leaders and inspirations by nominating a pharmacist or pharmacy technician for one of our awards. Nominations are now open.

Read the full award descriptions
See a list of past recipients

Nomination form(s) and letters of support must be submitted to the MPhA office by Monday, July 30.

Minnesota News

Open Positions on Drug Formulary Committee, E-Health Advisory Committee

The Minnesota Drug Formulary Committee has an opening for a pharmacist, and the Minnesota E-Health Advisory Committee has two openings for Rotating Professionals (pharmacists are specifically called out as qualifying for this position) plus an opening for Academics and Research. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s office announced the openings on June 4, and applications should be submitted by June 25.

Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days (June 25) of the “Publish Date” listed on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Open Positions page, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21-day application period.

How to Apply

Visit the Open Positions page.
Scroll down to find the correct Agency/Board/Council.
Choose the correct seat type, and click button that says APPLY
The system will walk you through creating an application profile.

Page 2 of the application will now allow you to attach the following documents:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Résumé or Biography

Applicants are encouraged to use the online application as the Appointing Authority will have access to your information as soon as it is submitted.

Applications submitted via downloadable application may experience some delay in reaching the Appointing Authority.

Paper applications may be submitted by email to: or by mail or in person to:

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155-1299

In accordance with the Minnesota Open Appointments Law, the Secretary of State acts as an administrator in publishing vacancies, receiving applications and recording appointments. Applications will be reviewed and appointments made by the appointing authorities; questions about specific vacancies and appointments should be directed to the appointing authority. Applications are kept on file for a one-year period.

Microvolunteer Opportunity: Pharmacists Needed for Two-Day Dental Clinic

As part of the Minnesota Dental Association Foundation’s free two-day Mission of Mercy dental clinic, two or more pharmacists are needed to dispense medications and counsel patients. The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy issues a variance to allow pharmacists to perform the final check on medications issued under the order of a dentist. This year the event will be at the Minneapolis Convention Center on September 7 and 8.

Get more information by watching a video and/or visiting the MDA website. There is a link to volunteer on the MDA website, or you can contact Executive Director Carmelo Cinqueonce at

In Memoriam: Gary Carlson, COP Faculty Member

Gary Carlson, RPh, a loyal and caring College of Pharmacy faculty member for over 40 years, passed away recently. Gary was a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, receiving his BS in Pharmacy degree in 1974. He then went on to study in the Pharmaceutics graduate program.

For many years, Gary contributed to the College — teaching compounding while also being employed by the University of Minnesota Hospital/Fairview Compounding Pharmacy. During this time period he became recognized as a true compounding pharmacy expert, and has taught required courses in dispensing and elective courses in compounding for the College. In addition, Gary served as the advisor of Mu Chapter of the Rho Chi Society for many years.

Over the course of his career Gary received numerous awards and recognitions. Notably, he was honored with two awards from the Pharmacy Alumni Society, the Distinguished Pharmacist Award and the Faculty Recognition Award. He was selected as Teacher of the Year by student vote in three different decades: 1978, 1979, 1981, 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Visitation for Gary will be held Friday, June 22, 2:30-3:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Park Lutheran church, Como Avenue at Luther Place, St. Paul, with a memorial service to follow at 3:30. Get more details at

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Less than Four 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

Register Now for Next Week’s 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.

Don’t Be an Audit Target: MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Register Now!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 • 11:30 a.m. • Online Webinar

Pharmacy audits continue to plague pharmacies. With low MAC prices, Direct/Indirect Remuneration (DIR) fees, and contracts that seem to pay less each year, pharmacies cannot afford to lose another dollar to pharmacy audits. This webinar could save you thousands of dollars. We will explain the types of pharmacy audits that are occurring and then touch upon prescription requirements and some real-life examples of things that are occurring in the pharmacy audit world, and exactly how to avoid them.

Learning Objectives:

  • List three types of audits that are being conducted by third parties;
  • Explain the prescription requirements needed to avoid penalties during audits;
  • Describe two examples of frequently penalized areas in audits and how to avoid them.

Register Now

About Our Speaker:

Mark Jacobs, RPh, FASCP, is a pharmacist with 25 years experience working in a community pharmacy including 20 years in pharmacy management. Mark has served his profession in several capacities including President of the Beloit Pharmacists Association, The Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin Board of Directors, and as Chairman of the American Pharmacists Association Committee on Pharmacy Work Life Issues. Mark has worked for Ed Heckman as a Pharmacy Audit Consultant at PAAS National® (The Pharmacy Audit Assistance Service) since 1999. PAAS National® serves over 4000 pharmacy members with audits in all 50 states, having saved members over $463 million in audit recoveries.

National News

FDA Says Drug Shortages Remain a “Serious Concern”

From Health Care on Bloomberg Law, June 6: The deputy commissioner for legislation and policy of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says drug shortages remain a serious concern as challenges persist. “It’s a serious concern not just in routine, everyday clinical care, but also in the context of a shortage of life-saving products at a time of a public health emergency,” Anna Abram, deputy commissioner for policy, planning, legislation, and analysis for the Food and Drug Administration, told a House panel.

An FDA database includes more than 100 products that are in shortage, including penicillin and Avadel Pharmaceuticals’ ephedrine, which is often used to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia.

The FDA’s drug center can encourage drug manufacturers to build in capacity when producing drugs, but the agency can’t require it, Abram said. The FDA also has worked to help import products to supplement drug shortages.

Read the full report

Opioid Prescription Rates Are Surprisingly High Following 3 Surgical Procedures

From Pharmacy Today, June 11: After analyzing three months of records at their facility, researchers at Duke University Medical Center report that patients who received cesarean section, joint arthroplasty and spinal fusion procedures were most likely to receive excess prescription for postoperative opioids. “The amount of opioids that C-section patients are being discharged with is quite remarkable, and it shows how exposure to opioids can be a driving factor in patients becoming addicted,” says Neil Ray, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology.

Read the full article

U.S. House Will Vote on Bills Aimed to Fight Opioid Epidemic

From Pharmacy Today, June 13: In the coming weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on dozens of bills aimed at curbing the opioid crisis. The bills include proposals that seek to stop illegal drugs from entering the U.S., change how opioids are distributed, make addiction treatment services more readily available and accelerate research on non-addictive pain treatments. A number of the proposals have bipartisan support and developed from a series of hearings held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.