MPhA News

Small Doses

August 24, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News

MPhA Events
National News

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Innovative Community-Based Medication Management Initiative to Improve Patient Safety

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, in partnership with Fairview Pharmacy Services, has been chosen to participate in Community Management of Medication Complexity Innovation Lab, a multisite pilot project that identifies and tests community-based strategies to improve medication safety for people with complex health and social needs.

Kylee Funk

This national initiative, made possible through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and led by the Center for Health Care Strategies, supports innovative organizations looking to enhance and expand community-based medication management programs.

“We value the opportunity to join this learning collaborative with one of our key partners, Fairview Pharmacy Services,” said Kylee Funk, PharmD, assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy. “Our past collaborations developing, implementing and evaluating comprehensive medication management programs gives us a great foundation to improve care for patients who have recently discharged from behavioral health units.”

The College of Pharmacy and Fairview Pharmacy Services are among five participating groups representing diverse populations and settings. The sites are each piloting unique community-based approaches focused on improving medication management in the community for low-income populations, particularly those with complex medical, behavioral and social needs.

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

MPhA Members Needed to Represent at NCPA Convention

If you plan to participate in this year’s Annual Convention of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) in October, we have a microvolunteer opportunity for you! MPhA needs a representative for the Resolution Committee and for the Nomination Committee, as well as delegates. The time commitment is limited, yet you’ll make a big difference for the future of pharmacy. If you are interested, please contact Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig. The deadline to submit nominations is September 28, 2018.

Minnesota News

MDH Booth at State Fair Highlights Benefits of Vaccines

From Minnesota Department of Health website, Aug. 21: Many people think about vaccinations as something that happens in childhood, but the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 2018 State Fair booth will highlight the fact that people need vaccines throughout their lives.

Through a series of games and interactive displays, visitors to this year’s booth will learn that when people of all ages get vaccinated, they not only protect themselves from dangerous diseases but they also help protect people who can’t get vaccinated. This could include babies too young to be vaccinated or people with weakened immune systems due to illness or medical treatments like chemotherapy who are more vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Our need for vaccines never ends. They are an important part of staying healthy from birth through older adulthood,” said Kristen Ehresmann, infectious disease director for MDH. “We hope the booth will show people how vaccines work to help protect you, your family and your community from deadly disease.”

Booth visitors will play a variety of games, developed in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota, that illustrate the role of vaccines in keeping people, families and communities healthy. They can also spin a quiz wheel to test their vaccine knowledge, take an adult vaccine assessment to get a customized list of vaccines they may need and pick up information on how to check their vaccination status, such as requesting their vaccination record using the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection to ensure they are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines.

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

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Just 5 Weeks 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. Login at, then scroll under Membership>Member Central>Manage Profile, and click. When you are on the Manage Profile page, look under “Content and Features” and click on Professional Development. From there you can specify a time period to search (e.g., October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018) and you’ll see all your ACPE and MN Board of Pharmacy credits for MPhA programs. Remember, only ACPE credits may be entered into the NABP CE Monitor. As such, the MPhA website provides a more complete picture of your CE credits as the Board of Pharmacy reporting deadline nears. If you need any assistance, please contact Bryan Mowry at

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, 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.

Register Online

Why attend ALNE?

“I look forward to ALNE each year because it's a great opportunity for researchers and pharmacists to connect and reflect on the ways to improve and innovate patient care.”
–– Tony Olson, PharmD, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Sponsorship opportunities are going fast — only a handful of spaces remain! Learn more about sponsorship and check out our current sponsors and exhibitors.

Save the Date: MPhA/Southeast Minnesota Pharmacists Town Hall

October 16, 2018 • Rochester Location TBA

Pharmacists from the 11 counties of the Southeast District of MPhA will gather in Rochester on Tuesday, Oct. 16, for an evening of networking and sharing of ideas. Watch for more information and registration soon!

National News

HHS Secretary Says Agency Has Power to Eliminate Drug Rebates

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today newsletter, Aug. 20: HHS Secretary Alex Azar says it is within his agency's power to eliminate rebates on prescription drug purchases, asserting they create a perverse incentive to continuously raise drug prices. HHS last month proposed regulations that would scale back protections for rebates that might otherwise be illegal under a federal anti-kickback law.

The PBM industry has challenged that move, saying HHS cannot eliminate rebates on its own and would need Congress to change the federal statute. The ultimate responsibility for high drug prices, those companies say, lies with the manufacturers who set those prices. Azar contends that the current rebates are a product of previous HHS regulation, adding, "What one has created by regulation, one could address by regulation." He has not indicated when such new regulations, which are being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget, might take effect. Since May, HHS has given Medicare Advantage health plans, which are administered by private-sector health insurers, new tools to lower prescription drug costs.

ASHP Awards and Honors

The ASHP Awards Program is designed to publicly recognize and express gratitude to those who have made important contributions to advance pharmacy practice in acute and ambulatory care settings. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2018. Get more information and make a nomination.

AMA Urges Expansion of Proven Opioid Treatment

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today newsletter, Aug. 22: The American Medical Association (AMA) is urging policymakers to support proven approaches to treat opioid use disorder after CDC data showed a 10% increase in opioid deaths last year. AMA has called on all health insurance companies and other payers to remove barriers to high-quality, evidence-based treatment for patients with pain and those with opioid use disorder. "We know what works," said Patrice A. Harris, MD, chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force. "We can point to states where making access to medication assisted treatment (MAT) has been a priority, and the mortality rates are doing down … this epidemic will not be reversed until we deal with access issues and stigma associated with opioid misuse."

August Is National Immunization Awareness Month: Focus on Back to School

From NCPA website, August 2018: This is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), established to encourage individuals of all ages to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations! Pharmacists can encourage parents to make sure that children get needed vaccinations as they head back to school.

NIAM Back to School

Every year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of immunization and the need for improving national vaccination coverage levels. NIAM is co-sponsored by the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) and CDC.

Stay up to date on your immunization knowledge! Register now for the MPhA Virtual Coffee Break Webinar for the latest information on Minnesota immunization recommendations for adults.