MPhA News

Small Doses

July 20, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News

MPhA Events
National News

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Board Engages in Planning Retreat

MPhA Board Members met on Wednesday, July 18, to set the direction for our association for the coming year and beyond. The full-day planning retreat is a great opportunity to take feedback from you, our members, and use it in creating services that will benefit pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy students from across the state!

MPhA Board Retreat

Sarah Westberg Appears on The Weather Channel

MPhA Board Member at Large Sarah Westberg, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, Associate Professor and Co-Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, appeared recently on The Weather Channel, explaining to a national audience why it’s important to keep medications out of the heat and at room temperature. Many injectable medications (such as insulin) are especially sensitive to heat. This points up a topic that pharmacists can discuss with patients, particularly during the heat of summer — storing medications properly.

Sarah Westberg on The Weather Channel

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

Less than Two Weeks Left to Nominate a Friend or Colleague 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

Pharmacists Needed for Annual Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic

As part of the Minnesota Dental Association Foundation’s free two-day Mission of Mercy dental clinic, pharmacists are needed to dispense medications and counsel patients. You can choose a half-day shift on either Friday or Saturday. 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. Several pharmacists have already signed up — this is a fun opportunity to give back to our community while working with fellow pharmacists and dentists.

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: Merle Mattson

Merle Mattson

MPhA Past President Merle D. Mattson passed away on July 9 at the age of 80. Merle attended the University of Minnesota, where he was a proud member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. He earned a degree from the College of Pharmacy in 1961 and started his career with Desnick Brothers Drug in North Minneapolis. He was a successful owner of Noble Drug with long-time business partner Stan Maisel. He operated several other pharmacies in surrounding cities, including Snyder Drug in New Prague, which he co-owned and operated with his brother, Kenneth Clark. Merle served as President of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association from 1989 to 1990.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents, Cyrus Mattson, Gladys Clark, step-father, Floyd Clark; brother, Dr. James Mattson; and his loving wife, Sandra, who passed away only 15 days earlier.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 26, 5-8 p.m., at Gearty-Delmore Plymouth Chapel. Services are scheduled for Friday, July 27, at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m., with services at 10:30 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, for pharmacists providing patient care. Online at (select Pharmacy Annual Fund, check in memory of Merle Mattson) or mail checks payable to UMF Foundation – in the memo line: #1803 in memory of Merle Mattson. Mail to University of MN Foundation, P.O. Box 860266, Mpls., MN 55486-0266 Or Frank and Laura Nelson Memorial Fund, YMCA NW 5901 P.O. Box 1450, Minneapolis, MN 55485-5901. Additional details.

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Less than Three 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 recorded) and other events!

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

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

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.

Save the Date: “Partnering for Population Health,” MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium

October 4-5, 2018 • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

MPhA ALNE logo

Join your colleagues for this year’s Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium, “Partnering for Population Health.” Your peers have designed this unique event on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 4-5, and it will allow you to create an agenda for practice and professional development. Registration will open soon!

Sponsorship opportunities are going fast! Learn more about sponsorship and check out our current sponsors and exhibitors.

National News

Take Action Now on DIR Fee Reform

From National Association of Chain Drug Stores, July 16: Join a community-wide effort to flood the US. House of Representatives with advocate letters touting the critical need for Part D direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform. We need your help telling our state delegation to support a bipartisan letter crafted by Representatives Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Peter Welch (D-VT) to the Secretary of Health and Human Services urging the much-needed reforms. Your letter-writing efforts will visibly demonstrate to Congress that this issue matters to constituents. Tell your Representative to support this letter TODAY by clicking on the Take Action Link to submit your letter in minutes!

Although DIR fees began as a fee category to report manufacturer rebates, they are now a Part D Plan catch-all for numerous types of fees, including pharmacy performance-based or preferred network fees. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported DIR use is growing and has led to increased beneficiary cost-sharing and government costs. Retroactive DIR fees have become increasingly common in Part D, leading to higher out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries and leaving pharmacies with little insight into, and too few tools to manage, the resulting risk. Ultimately, as things operate today, uncertainty surrounding retroactive fees has contributed to financial risk that is simply too great and too unpredictable for many pharmacies to manage, increasing chances for closures and preventing new pharmacies from entering communities that need them most. CMS should address DIR so that pharmacy price concessions are reflected at the point of sale – doing so would immediately reduce out of pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries while ensuring convenient access to community pharmacy.

FDA Forms Task Force to Address Drug Shortages

From an FDA Press Release, July 12: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has announced the creation of a task force to address persistent drug shortages in the U.S. Although the number of new drug shortages has decreased since 2011, some medically necessary products are still in short supply.

The new Drug Shortages Task Force—to be led by Keagan Lenihan, FDA's associate commissioner for strategic initiatives—will seek holistic solutions to address the root causes of these shortages. Other members of the task force will include senior leaders from FDA, CMS, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Read the full press release

Tell Patients about Health Scam Warning Signs

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, July 16: Health scams are everywhere and impossible to tackle completely, but if patients have the right resources and support, safely navigating the complicated world of health and medicine is within arm’s reach.

According to the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), when Americans search for a prescription drug on the internet, they almost always find websites that operate illegally and unsafely. In fact, ASOP Global found more than 30,000 illegal online pharmacies that sell medicines unlawfully. These illegal online drug sellers offer medication without a prescription, have not obtained the required pharmacy license needed to operate, and have been found to sell products that may have little or no active ingredients, according to Libby Baney, JD, executive director of ASOP Global. The products can also contain deadly poisons like arsenic.

Printable brochures from ASOP Global with this information in English and Spanish can be found at

Read the full article.