MPhA News

Small Doses

October 26, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

UMN Students Present Poster as Part of ACCP Clinical Research Challenge

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy team presented a poster this week at the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Annual Global Conference in Seattle, part of the reward for winning first place in the ACCP Clinical Research Challenge. Each student also received a $500 cash prize and an individual plaque; the team also brought home a team trophy.

UMN College of Pharmacy Team at ACCP

UMN Students Place Second in ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy team came in a close second in the final round of this year’s ACCP Clinical Pharmacy Challenge. Teams of three students compete in this “quiz bowl” format, going from four online rounds to quarterfinals, semifinals and finals live at the conference. Each student received a $250 cash award and a commemorative team plaque was presented.

UMN College of Pharmacy Team at ACCP Pharmacy Challenge

Swanoski Interviewed by U.S. News & World Report

As part of an article about rural pharmacies in the U.S., U.S. News and World Report interviewed University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Senior Associate Dean and Associate Professor Michael Swanoski. Swanoski said that while patients have benefited from Medicare changes in terms of affordable medications, the effects of low reimbursement rates on pharmacies have been significant. “It’s harder for an independent pharmacy to get enough revenue from other types of transactions to keep the lights on,” he said. “For independent pharmacies that are surviving, the secret sauce is: They either have to get bigger or they have to offer more services.”

Read the Full Article

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Get Involved and Make a Difference! DHS Drug Formulary Committee

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has one opening for a Pharmacist and two openings for Licensed Healthcare Professionals on the Drug Formulary Committee. The Formulary Committee reviews over-the-counter drugs, makes recommendations about prior authorizations and establishes the list of drugs excluded from mandatory generic substitution. This is a very important way that you can influence the practice of pharmacy for the entire state.

The pharmacist member can not work for DHS and must be actively practicing. Members are selected after consulting with professional organizations. Meetings are held two to eight times per year, typically from 5 to 9 p.m., at the Department of Human Services building, 540 Cedar St., St. Paul.

Learn More and Apply Today

MDH Highlights Pharmacy Week on Social Media

Pharmacy Week logoThe Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) highlighted the essential role of pharmacists in successful antibiotic stewardship programs as part of Pharmacy Week. Among the messages:

Pharmacists are true medication experts and are a great resource for questions about antibiotics and medication disposal. Remember to #ThankAPharmacist during Pharmacy Week (October 21-27) to recognize all the work they do in keeping us healthy. Learn more about the essential role Minnesota pharmacists play in antibiotic stewardship.

Follow the Minnesota Pharmacists Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates like this, as well as photos of MPhA events.

Thrifty White and RALI Partner to Distribute Safe Drug Disposal Kits

The Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) has donated 8,000 safe drug disposal kits to Thrifty White Pharmacy. Thrifty White will distribute the kits to communities to provide an easy way for customers to dispose of unused opioids. RALI is a partnership between the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and other groups that are working to combat the opioid epidemic. Thrifty White’s pilot project began on Oct. 16 with four stores in Minnesota, in the communities of Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Brainerd and Pierz.

Read the Full Article

MPhA Events

2018 OSHA Update: MPhA Partners to Provide Live Webinars to Meet Required Annual Training

October 29, 30 • Online Webinars

If you are a pharmacist providing immunizations or CLIA-waived testing services, or a pharmacy technician or other health care professional assisting with these services, you must have live Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) training on bloodborne pathogens every year or face fines of up to $90,000 — that is confirmed with the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy.

In many cases, your employer may offer training to you. If your employer does not offer training, or if you are an employer looking for training options, the Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA) has partnered with the Tennessee Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation (TPREF) to offer a webinar for $40 (for MPhA members only) that meets all of OSHA's training requirements, including the live component. In partnership with the Tennessee Pharmacists Consortium for Education (TPCE), this webinar will provide attendees with one (1.0) hour of live ACPE Continuing Education.

Webinar schedule:

Monday, October 29, Noon CDT
Tuesday, October 30, 6 p.m. CDT

To receive the $40 member rate, MPhA members must register as a non-member and enter promo code “FALL18” at checkout. Each attendee must register for the program through the online registration process that you will receive in your confirmation email after payment. For more information please visit the website or contact Julie Schuffman at

Free Webinar: Persuading Parents that HPV Vaccine Is Safe and Effective

Thursday, November 1, 2 p.m. CDT • Online Webinar

Dr. Kristin Oliver (Mount Sinai, New York) and Dr. Sharon Humiston (Children’s Mercy, Missouri) will talk about practical approaches to persuading parents that HPV vaccine is safe and effective in a busy clinical setting. These two pediatricians will highlight tools to get your whole office team giving not just strong, but effective recommendations.

Register Online

MPhA Brainerd Town Hall: The Need for Effective and Efficient Diabetes Management across the Health Care Continuum

Tuesday, November 13, 5:30-8:15 p.m. • Grand View Lodge, Nisswa

In this interactive program, you will learn about the need for effective and efficient diabetes management across the health care continuum from Dr. Eric Johnson, an Associate Professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and the Department of Education Resources, where he is the Director of Interprofessional Education and the Medical Director of the Physician Assistant Program. Then, MPhA Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig and MPhA Member Laura Schwartzwald will provide news about pharmacy advocacy in Minnesota, plus a Q&A during our town hall segment.

Register Online

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: The MedEdgeRx MTM Network, Supporting High Quality Patient Care

November 14, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Online Webinar

In this session, you will learn about the background and opportunities provided by the MedEdgeRx™ (formerly UPlan) MTM Network. Our speaker will describe the values of patient care and the pharmacist’s role as a member of the evolving health care team. Learn how you can become involved!

Register Online

Our speaker is Gary Schneider, BPharm, RPh, Director of the MedEdgeRx (formerly UPlan) Medication Therapy Management Network at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. The network is comprised of approximately 300 MTM pharmacists located in community, chain, hospital and institutional pharmacies around the state. The credentialed pharmacists provide medication management services to high-utilization, high-cost patients. The network’s goal is to optimize medication use and to prevent drug-related problems which lead to higher medical expenses tied to excessive doctor visits, ER visits, hospitalizations and re-admissions. It also strives to provide enhanced patient care and improved quality of life through pharmacy’s active involvement on the health care team.

MPhA pharmacist members, pharmacy technician members and student members may attend our Virtual Coffee Breaks at no cost. The cost is $25 for non-members.

Third Annual Collaborative Meeting with AADE/MPhA

Thursday, November 15, 5-7:30 p.m. • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

Join us on Thursday, Nov. 15, as David Tridgell, MD, Adult Endocrinologist with Park Nicollet, presents on The Rising Cost of Insulin: Poster Child for a Dysfunctional System. Registration is open now!

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

Friday, November 16, 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 November 2 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.

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

December 13, 2018

MPhA/GRAPh Town Hall
Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids

February 5, 2019

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day
Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul

May 6-9, 2019

U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Foundation Conference

June 12, 2019

MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting
Midland Hills Country Club, St. Paul

National News

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is Tomorrow

The majority of teens abusing prescription drugs get them from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the public can take back unused prescription medications to locations across Minnesota and across the nation as part of the 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Visit this website to look up a site near you. Encourage your patients to participate! There are around 80 sites in Minnesota. Many thanks to the pharmacies that are participating!

Take Back Day

Interested in starting a year-round drug disposal program at your pharmacy? APhA’s Pharmacy Today offers tips to help you!

Pharmacy Leaders Attend White House Event on Opioid Epidemic

From APhA news release and Twitter: Leaders from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) were among those who attended an event at the White House on Oct. 24 to commemorate the many efforts to curb the national opioid crisis. The invitation serves as recognition that pharmacists are a necessary resource to consumers and a vital member of the health care team working to curb the prescription drug and opioid abuse epidemic.

During the White House event, titled “A Year of Historic Action to Combat the Opioid Crisis,” President Trump signed legislation recently passed by Congress to add more resources for Americans suffering from addiction, including expanded access to medication-assisted treatments like methadone.

Read the Full Release

Download a summary of the bill, prepared by NCPA.