MPhA News

Small Doses

August 3, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News

MPhA Events
National News

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

MPhA Representatives Attend NABP/AACP District 5 Meeting

MPhA President Jason Varin and member Denise Frank are among those attending a meeting of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)/AACP District 5 meeting this week in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We appreciate the time that our volunteers take away from their jobs and family to represent MPhA!

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

Minnesota News

Minnesota Board of Pharmacy Bans Two Synthetic Drugs

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is banning the possession or sale of two types of synthetic drugs: synthetic cannabinoids and fentanyl analogs. The ban is expected to go into effect on Monday, Aug. 6.

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals related to the natural cannabinoids found in marijuana plants.

The board states, "they are sold as 'safe' alternatives to marijuana," but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report those drugs can cause serious health issues, including hallucinations, delusions, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior, among others.

View the full article from KSTP-TV.

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 (6 a.m. to Noon or Noon to 5:30 p.m.) on either Friday or Saturday. Volunteers are especially needed for the early shift on 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: Ron Hartmann

Long-time MPhA member Ron Hartmann passed away on June 26, 2018, at the age of 72. After graduation from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 1969, Ron and his wife Mary moved to Rochester, where Ron worked as a hospital pharmacist at Methodist Hospital. In 1981, Ron and family moved to Austin, Minn., where he served as director of Pharmacy at St. Olaf’s Hospital. In late 1983, Ron pursued his dream of owning his own drug store; he and Mary purchased a store in Mapleton, Minn., and he immersed himself in his business and community for the next 28 years. Ron retired in 2012. He is survived by his wife, two children, two siblings, and three grandchildren.

College of Pharmacy, Duluth, 15 Year Celebration

The Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 15. The event, which will be held at The Historic Union Depot in Duluth, will begin at 6 p.m. with a social, followed by dinner and entertainment. Group rates are available at two hotels in downtown Duluth. For more information, visit the College of Pharmacy website.

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Less than Two 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

MPhA MTM Academy Networking Event

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 • 5 p.m. • Utepils Brewing, Minneapolis

Molly Ekstrand, Paul Rukavina and Allyson Schlichte are excited to announce another MTM Academy Networking event. We consistently hear that one aspect of membership you enjoy the most is the opportunity to connect with colleagues and network. No registration is required! Just show up, meet new colleagues and catch up with friends. Join us at Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave. N., Suite 700, Minneapolis, Minn., 55405 on August 14. We will be there from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Buy your own beer — a food truck will also be available.

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 UMN College of Pharmacy, Co-Director of UHCP Managed Care residency, immunizing pharmacist, Medication Therapy Management (MTM) pharmacist, and pharmacy consultant.

MDH Adult Immunization Update: MPhA Virtual Coffee Break

Register Now!
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 • 11:30 a.m. • Online Webinar

Get the latest information on Minnesota immunization recommendations for adults. Topics will include updates on zoster vaccines, hepatitis B and influenza vaccines. Best practice resources for pharmacists in Minnesota regarding administration, storage and handling of vaccine and use of the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection (MIIC) will also be presented.

Registration Fees

  • $25 for nonmembers.
  • MPhA pharmacist members, pharmacy technician members and student members may attend at no cost.

Register Online

About Our Speaker:

Jennifer Heath is the supervisor of the Education and Partnerships Unit in the Vaccine Preventable Disease Section at the Minnesota Department of Health. She has been with the department since 2009 and in her role as supervisor since 2016. The Education and Partnerships Unit leads several initiatives to improve immunization coverage throughout Minnesota, including provider education, promotion of adult and adolescent vaccines, school and child care reporting, and outreach and influenza vaccine promotion.

“Partnering for Population Health,” MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium

October 4-5, 2018 • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park • Registration Opens on August 6

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 on Monday!

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

National News

Gaps in the Clinical Management of Influenza

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, Aug. 1: An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that while influenza surveillance and access to vaccines have come a long way since the catastrophic flu pandemic of 1918, there is still much room for improvement. This point is driven home by the return of a 50-year-old influenza strain during the U.S. 2017–18 season. The impact of this most recent cycle, they say, exposes the continuing gaps that characterize clinical management of seasonal influenza. Read the full article.

CMS Announces Medicare Part D Premiums for 2019, Clarifies “Any Willing Provider” Requirement

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, Aug. 1: In an effort to increase competition among pharmacies, CMS clarified the "any willing provider" requirement in an announcement on July 31, to increase the number of pharmacy options that beneficiaries have. For the second straight year, the average basic premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan is projected to decline in 2019. CMS anticipates releasing the premiums and costs for Medicare health and drug plans for the 2019 calendar year in mid-to-late September.
Read the full news release.