MPhA News

Small Doses

September 7, 2018
News from MPhA
MPhA Events

National News
Minnesota News

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPSA Members Volunteer at American Legion Convention

The 100th national convention of the American Legion was held in Minneapolis in late August. Several members of the Minnesota Pharmacy Students Alliance volunteered at the event, providing health screenings and vaccinations for attendees. Around 10,000 Legion members representing all 50 states attended the convention.

American Legion vaccination

American Legion health screening

MPSA Members Volunteer at Drug Take Back Event

MPhA Past President Michelle Aytay spoke, and MPSA members Kyler Anderson and Grace Baek volunteered at a Drug Take Back Event on August 24 at a Walgreens Pharmacy. Minnesota 3rd District Congressman Erik Paulsen was also on hand to speak to the need for safe disposal of unneeded prescription medications.

Michelle Aytay and Rep. Erik Paulsen

Grace Baek, Rep. Erik Paulsen, and Kyler Anderson

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.

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.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Recovery Month Highlights Need for Community Services

From a Minnesota Department of Human Services News Release, Sept. 5: September is Recovery Month in the U.S. and in Minnesota. People were admitted to chemical dependency treatment programs in Minnesota more than 57,000 times in 2017. Most people who enter chemical dependency treatment usually complete it and show considerable improvement, and abstinence from substance use and other benefits of treatment tend to continue over the long term. Yet each year, more than 9 out of 10 adults with a substance use disorder do not receive treatment.

To address this gap, Minnesota has launched a multi-year reform effort that aims to cut the time between asking for treatment and getting it, as well as adding a variety of key improvements to the system. In addition, to help combat our state’s ongoing opioid epidemic, DHS has won federal grants to fund a range of prevention, treatment and recovery efforts, including peer recovery programs, the Parent Child Assistance Program, and community health worker training to support high risk pregnant and newly-parenting women.

Nationally, one in five adults has some type of mental illness, but many aren’t getting the care they need. Minnesota has invested in several new services designed to fit each individual’s needs, such as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics that serve as one-stop shops for mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and First Episode of Psychosis programs, designed to identify early and help people who are developing signs of psychosis. Read the full news release.

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Just 3 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 am going to ALNE — my top reasons for going are: to learn recent, relevant news/landscape related to MTM practice as I am a new practitioner (resident) and to network with other ambulatory care and clinical pharmacists as a newly licensed pharmacist myself!”
–– Michelle Tran, Pharmacy Resident

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

Managed Care Academy CE Breakfast

September 12, 2018 • Ryan’s Café & Café Fusion, Bloomington

Prime CE (not affiliated with Prime Therapeutics) and the Minnesota Chapter of AMCP will offer a free CE with free breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The topic is Implications in Persistent Asthma: Navigating New Evidence, Comorbidities and Patient Factors, and the speaker will be Allen P. Baptist, MD, MPH, Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Asthma Management Program. The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 9 a.m. The program will be held at Ryan’s Café & Café Fusion, 8400 Normandale Lake Blvd., Bloomington, MN 55437. For additional information and/or to register, please contact Charalette Mathwig.

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program

October 14, 2018 • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

You will get the comprehensive knowledge, skills and resources needed to provide immunization services to patients across the lifespan by attending this certificate training program, which is based on national educational standards for immunization training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Register by September 28 for this full-day program with presenters John Creasy, Laurie Deegan and Melanie Schwartz, all of Fairview Pharmacy Services.

Register Online

Save the Date: MPhA/Southeast Minnesota Area Pharmacists Night Spectacular

October 16, 2018 • Apache Hotel, Rochester

Southeast Minnesota Area Pharmacists District Chair Sherwood Peterson, Jr., has organized a spectacular pharmacist night and invites you to join him and a stellar lineup for a very special evening as fellow pharmacists from the 11 counties of the Southeast Minnesota Area District of MPhA gather and welcome current President Jason Varin, U of MN College of Pharmacy Dean Lynda Welage, MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig to Rochester on Tuesday evening, October 16, at the Apache Hotel (formerly the Kahler Apache Hotel) with food provided by The Canadian Honker.

Our meal is provided once again through the gracious support of Pharmaceutical Specialties of Rochester, makers of Vanicream and numerous other sensitive skin products. (

Our keynote speaker is world-renowned oncologist, palliative care specialist and author Dr. Edward T. Creagan of the Mayo Clinic Rochester. Dr. Creagan's special dynamic presentation for this evening, "Grit: Rx for Personal and Professional Survival; Proven Survival Tips to Go the Distance," will not only educate but entertain those in attendance.

Dr. Creagan is the author of over 400 scientific papers and has given more than 1,000 presentations throughout the world. Dr. Creagan has authored 2 books: How NOT to Be My Patient and his recently released title Farewell, which delivers vital end-of-life questions with candid answers from 40,000 conversations with terminally ill patients.

The evening will conclude with remarks from MPhA President Jason Varin and University of Minnesota COP Dean Lynda Welage with time for some Q&A from audience members.

Registration will open next week!

Pharmaceutical Care Lyceum

January 2-4, 2019 • Deep Portage Conference Center, Hackensack, MN

In partnership with MPhA, this unique pharmaceutical care all-teach, all-learn conference will return in 2019! Space is limited to 70 participants. Applications are due by October 18, 2018. Get more information and make your application now at

National News

North Dakota Court Rules against PBMs

From NCPA’s qAM newsletter, Sept. 6: In a significant win for community pharmacy, the U.S. District Court of North Dakota issued a decision on Sept. 5 denying PCMA’s challenge to two North Dakota laws regulating PBMs and their relationship with pharmacies. Defendants in the suit (including the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy, the state attorney general and the state health officer) won on nearly every claim.

The court held that neither ERISA nor Medicare preempts the challenged state laws — except for an isolated provision that mandated certain disclosures to plan sponsors, which the Court held was preempted by Medicare (but not ERISA). Read the court's decision here.

As a result, North Dakota may enforce the laws in their entirety, except for the plan-disclosure provision. PCMA filed an appeal on Sept. 5.

A Texas Lawsuit Could Mean Life or Death for the ACA

From Kaiser Health News, Sept. 4: On September 5, a group of Republican Attorneys General are set to face off against a group of Democratic attorneys general in a Texas courtroom. They will first argue whether the Affordable Care Act should be put on hold while the case is being heard. Then, the court will consider whether Congress rendered the ACA unconstitutional when last year’s tax bill eliminated the penalty for not having health insurance. Read the full story.

New Alaska Law Aims to Clarify Pharmacy Costs

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, Sept. 5: Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska has signed legislation that is meant to improve transparency among insurance companies, drug companies, pharmacies, and patients. Walker signed the bill at a small Juneau pharmacy. The law eliminates "gag orders" that have kept pharmacists from telling customers when paying with cash would be less expensive than using their health insurance. Now, pharmacists will not be kept from disclosing that information to patients. The law also gives criteria for how Alaska pharmacies are audited and requires auditors to register with the state.

October Is National Pharmacists Month: How Will You Participate?

From an American Pharmacists Association email: October is American Pharmacists Month and APhA is getting excited to lead our community of pharmacists, student pharmacists, technicians, educators, and industry partners in informing patients and caregivers of unique opportunities to access pharmacists’ services. Our expertise, though underutilized, can positively impact the lives of patients in many ways.

This October, we hope to exceed past campaign successes. We want to renew the public perception of pharmacists to one that positively and accurately represents all that we can contribute as providers. In the next few weeks, we will introduce a new, refreshed campaign image and messaging for American Pharmacists Month that recognizes the vital role we all play in health and wellness.

APhA is very close to launching a website that describes the details of our campaign and how you can participate. We will provide easy-to-access media kits for social sharing, downloadable graphics and store assets that can be printed locally for your pharmacy, and American Pharmacists Month buttons that you can order for free—compliments of APhA. The campaign is designed for simplicity and impact, and we hope you will be part of the plan.