MPhA News

Small Doses

June 29, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News

MPhA Events
National News

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

MPhA Member Works to Reduce Lung Cancer Disparities in Native Americans

MPhA member Pamala Jacobson, PharmD, FCCP, is a principal researcher with the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative (MPMC). MPMC will conduct two pilot studies in partnership with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Onamia, Minn., to investigate aspects of lung cancer and nicotine metabolism from commercial tobacco use that may be unique to American Indian populations in Minnesota. “For precision medicine approaches to be effective, we have to know how to apply this exciting new science to all populations, not just healthcare systems in metropolitan areas or those serving high income patients,” said Jacobson. “Conducting the needed research and implementing precision medicine to benefit the health of American Indians and other minority populations is a priority.”

Read the full news story

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 for Patient Medication Safety

Specialty Pharmacists: Write about Your Products/Services for MPhA Journal

The MPhA Editorial Advisory Committee would like to include information in future issues of the Minnesota Pharmacist journal about the work our members are doing in specialty pharmacy settings. The number of specialty medications and specialty pharmacy services has never been greater, and we hope to provide information to our members about the breadth and depth of specialty pharmacy in Minnesota. Articles should be informational in nature rather than promotional or sales oriented. The deadline for our Fall issue is October 5. For more information about what we are looking for, contact Communication Director Laurie Pumper.

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.

Happy Independence Day from MPhA

MPhA’s staff and Board of Directors wish all of our members a joyful and healthy Independence Day holiday! The MPhA office will be closed on July 4 to observe the holiday. Some staff members will take vacation before and/or after the holiday, but our offices will be open July 2-3 and July 5-6 during regular business hours.

Minnesota News

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

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 Virtual Coffee Break Webinars, live or on demand!

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

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. 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.

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: Pharmacist Prescribed OTC Medications for Minnesota Medicaid

Register Now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 • 11:30 a.m. (CDT) • Online Webinar

Minnesota Medicaid allows pharmacists to prescribe OTC medications to Minnesota Health Care Program (MHCP) recipients and retail pharmacists are not consistently taking advantage of this prescribing authority. Enhancing your knowledge of pharmacist prescribing OTCs can improve job satisfaction and heighten your professional practice.

Register Online

About Our Speaker:

Adam Pavek is currently the consulting Pharmacy Director for Itasca Medical Care and a consultant with Ventegra, Inc. Previously, Adam was at the Minnesota Department of Human Services where he managed the Medicaid prescription drug list, led the fee-for-service Medicaid Drug Formulary Committee and Universal Pharmacy Policy Workgroup. He earned his pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2007. Since completing his residency, Adam has gained a variety of practice experience including: retail pharmacy, adjunct professor at the MN College of Pharmacy, Co-Director of UHCP Managed Care residency, immunizing pharmacist, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) pharmacist, and pharmacy consultant.

National News

Sens. Klobuchar & Grassley to FTC: Are Delay Tactics Keeping Biosimilars off the Market?

From Pharmacy Today, June 25: U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether delay tactics are being used to keep biosimilars from entering the market. Strategies such as "pay for delay" deals—in which brand-name and generic drug first use pay-off agreements to postpone the introduction of less-expensive substitutes—could make some medications out of reach for patients.

In a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, the senators said: "Without biosimilar competition, U.S. patients and payers will likely see additional price increases on biologics in the years to come.” Klobuchar and Grassley pointed to a recent patent settlement for AbbVie's adalimumab (Humira), noting "that while European patients will benefit from biosimilar competition later this year, Americans may be without access to Humira biosimilars for almost 5 more years."

U.S House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Fight Opioid Crisis

From Pharmacy Today, June 25: Bipartisan legislation to help address the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic was passed by the House on June 22 on a vote of 396-14. The bill is the broadest of several opioid-related measures passed by the House in recent weeks. “At a time when it seems we couldn't be more divided, it's clear that striking back against addiction is something that transcends politics and brings us together as a community, as a country and as a Congress," said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), who has led the chamber's opioid efforts.

The legislation includes a number of measures to address the opioid epidemic, including lifting some limits on prescribing buprenorphine and requiring health care professionals to write prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries electronically. The bill will now be sent to the Senate. While addiction advocates say the measures are good steps, they stress that more work and funding are necessary. For instance, Caleb Alexander, co-director of Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety, notes that more than 2.1 million U.S. residents have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction; he estimates that “tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars” will be needed to address the problem.