MPhA News

Small Doses

September 21, 2018
News from MPhA
MPhA Events

National News
Minnesota News

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

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, APhA hopes 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. 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.

Next week, APhA plans to launch 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.

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 Rural Members: We Need You for a Board Vacancy

The MPhA Board of Directors has an immediate opening for a member to serve as a Rural Pharmacist on the Board. The term will run from the date of approval by the Board through June 2020. The MPhA Board meets on a monthly basis with alternating 3-hour in-person meetings and 1-hour conference call meetings.

Board members are expected to bring issues to the board meetings on behalf of their constituency. Board members play an important role as liaisons to committees and participate in welcoming new pharmacists to the profession. To learn more about the board of directors and MPhA, contact Nominate yourself or another MPhA Rural Member now.

MPhA Members: You Are Welcome to Write for MPhA

We are always on the lookout for good content for our weekly Small Doses newsletter (short items, typically 250 words or less) as well as our quarterly Minnesota Pharmacist journal (we especially want articles on clinical topics). If you have news to share, please contact Communication Director Laurie Pumper. The deadline to submit material for the Fall Minnesota Pharmacist is Monday, October 8, 2018.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Pharmacists: Attend MDH Rural Health Listening Sessions

From MDH email, Sept. 11: The purpose for the Minnesota Department of Health’s upcoming October rural health listening sessions—in Alexandria, Bemidji, Chisholm, Marshall and Waseca—is to gather information to inform MDH’s Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex) and other state Office of Rural Health and Primary Care projects. The Flex Program was created to improve access and quality, and focuses on Minnesota's Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) as the hub of rural systems of care.

The target audience for these rural health listening sessions is anyone who works in, works with or uses rural health care. If you would like to attend or get more information, please contact: Emma Distel at 651-201-3528.

MDH: As Pollen Seasons Expand, so Does the Opportunity for Patient Education

From MDH email, Sept. 12: The Minnesota Department of Health Asthma, Climate & Health and MN Tracking programs worked together to publish data about pollen seasons using pollen data collected in Minneapolis by the Clinical Research Institute. Right now, MDH only has pollen data specific to Minneapolis, but the information on the data portal can benefit many clinicians and other health care professionals around the state as they counsel patients who have summer/fall allergies and allergic triggered asthma symptoms. Link to the portal:

Here are some steps those with allergies can take:

  • Sign up for Pollen alerts. You can get a pollen and mold report for the Twin Cities area from the National Allergy Bureau.
  • Become familiar with the type of pollen that triggers your allergies, so you can prevent or reduce symptoms.
  • Limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. This will lessen the amount of pollen allergen you inhale and reduce your symptoms.
  • Keep windows closed during pollen season and use central air conditioning with a HEPA filter in your home and vehicle.
  • Start taking allergy medicine before pollen season begins. Most allergy medicine works best when taken this way. Make sure you have your relief/rescue inhaler with you.
  • Wear a hat and sunglasses. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and hair.
  • Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities.

Learn more about the shifting pollen seasons in Minnesota and what is being done about pollen exposure.

Find a fact sheet about asthma (PDF) in Minnesota.

MPhA Events

Need CE Hours? Just 9 Days 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

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

October 4-5, 2018 • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park • Register Now for Early-bird Discount!

MPhA ALNE logo

Claim your discount! We have extended the deadline for early registration to Monday, September 24. 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. Attendance continues to trend well above our great numbers from last year!

Register Online

Why attend ALNE?

“This event keeps me current on issues that affect my patients and helps me provide them with better care. We need to support our State organization that works for pharmacists in Minnesota.”
–– William L. Larson, PharmD, BCGP, BCACP, Medication Adherence Pharmacist, Allina Health Uptown Clinic/Park Nicollet Infectious Disease Clinic/North Memorial Infectious Disease Clinic

Celebrate 125 Years of Excellence!

Be sure to stay for more fun after the official close of ALNE! The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is celebrating 125 years of providing excellent education to pharmacists from across Minnesota and around the globe. The “Big Bash” begins with a social at 4:30 p.m. and a program at 5:30 p.m. RSVP by October 1.

Are You Missing Patient Care Revenue Opportunities? Join Us for APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services and Expand Your Practice

Friday, October 12, 2018 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • St. Paul
This program approved by Minnesota Medicaid

The Minnesota MedEdgeRx Network and Minnesota Medicaid provide reimbursement for important medication management services (MTM) for patients. Yet, many more opportunities exist than there are certified pharmacist providers to conduct the services. Are you leaving patient care and revenue opportunities on the table? Register by September 28 for this program!

Register Online

Then, sign up and become a certified MTM provider! This program qualifies you to register as a provider with MN Medicaid and conduct and receive payment for MTM services. The MTM Certificate training program (3rd Edition) presents a systematic approach for developing, implementing, delivering, and sustaining MTM services. It includes an overview of the marketplace for delivering MTM services, guidance for implementing MTM services in pharmacy practice, a review of the essential skills and knowledge needed for performing MTM successfully, and an organized process for identifying medication-related problems. The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists to improve medication use through the delivery of MTM services in a variety of practice settings.


  • Jordan Wolf, PharmD, Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, Consultant Pharmacist, Thrifty White Pharmacy
  • Michelle A. Johnson, BCACP, Pharmacist, Fairview Pharmacy Services

APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services certificate training program has three components: online interactive self-study with assessment; the live seminar with online evaluation; and post-seminar case exercise. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all program components, including an evaluation.

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program

Sunday, 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

Register Now: MPhA/Southeast Minnesota Area Pharmacists Night Spectacular

Tuesday, 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.

Register Online

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.

Apply Now: 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

Allied Against Opioid Abuse: Free Promotional Resources for Pharmacists

To help pharmacists engage and educate their patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities related to prescription opioids, MPhA worked with Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) on a toolkit. AAOA is a national education and awareness initiative, which MPhA has joined, to help prevent the abuse and misuse of prescription opioids.

The resources include tips for talking with patients and caregivers about prescription opioids, prescriber engagement guide, patient engagement guide and point-of-service resources for patients visiting a pharmacy.

The AAOA Pharmacy Toolkit is now available online at

Submit Your Research Project/Study Idea to PQA

From PQA Email, Sept. 18: Interested in collaborating with PQA on a research project/study? Do you have an idea you would like to share with PQA for consideration? Complete the submission form by 4 p.m. CDT on October 31, 2018 for consideration by the PQA Research Coordinating Committee (RCC). PQA's RCC meets quarterly to review and prioritize submitted projects for subsequent partnership/collaboration. The RCC will use PQA’s Research Prioritization Framework to help inform its decision.

FDA Approves New Safety Measures Governing Use of Opioids

From FDA News Release, Sept. 18: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the final Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). The plan includes a number of steps to help better communicate the serious risks involved with the use of opioid analgesics to both patients and health care professionals. FDA noted, "This expanded REMS now, for the first time, applies to immediate-release (IR) opioid analgesics intended for use in an outpatient setting. The new REMS also applies to the extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics, which have been subject to a REMS since 2012.”

The REMS program mandates that training be made available to health care providers who are involved in the management of patients with pain, not only to prescribers—so it would include pharmacists and nurses, for example. The REMS also states that the training must cover broader information about appropriate pain management, including alternatives to opioids. FDA said it is approving new product labeling containing information about the health care provider education available through the new REMS.

"Our new effort is aimed at arming providers with the most current and comprehensive information on the appropriate management of pain," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. In addition to expanding the REMS to include IR opioid analgesics intended for outpatient use, FDA has approved the new FDA Opioid Analgesic REMS Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Treatment and Monitoring of Patients with Pain, which includes updated educational content. Read the full news release.