MPhA News

Small Doses

November 2, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Leaders Meet with Student Pharmacists

Earlier this week, MPhA President Jason Varin and Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig met with members of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance. Jason and Marsha explained why students should be part of the Minnesota Pharmacy community and how the Minnesota Pharmacists Association supports their careers. In the photo, Jason (left) and Marsha (right) are shown with the winners of the Operation Diabetes program; the College of Pharmacy team won the award through the American Pharmacists Association/Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA/ASP) Region 5.

Jason & Marsha with Student Pharmacists

MPhA Board Member Helps Celebrate Pharmacists Month

October is American Pharmacists Month, and William Larson, PharmD, Jamie Swanson, PharmD, and Chuck Howald, PharmD (shown left to right in the photo) celebrated the occasion on October 31, 2018, at the Allina Uptown Clinic in Minneapolis. Drs. Swanson and Larson are graduates of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Howald is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Swanson and Howald are pharmacists at the Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy in Uptown. Larson is an HIV medication adherence pharmacist for the Allina Clinic next door to Walgreens, and collaborates closely with the Walgreens Specialty duo.

William Larson and others celebrate American Pharmacists Month American Pharmacists Month cake

The pharmacists also created flyers explaining the work pharmacists do, with the goal of educating clinic staff.

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

MPhA Events

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

Come for food and fellowship with your interprofessional colleagues as MPhA and NovoNordisk host an event celebrating American Diabetes Month in Nisswa! We’ll have a social hour followed by an interactive program 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. 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. Don’t miss it!

Register Online

MPhA/NCPA Networking Event in Minneapolis

Thursday, November 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m. • Applebee's, 615 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis (on the UMN Campus)

Pharmacists in any setting, new practitioners, residents and student pharmacists are encouraged to attend this event. It’s designed to allow students and pharmacists to network and get to know one another in a relaxed setting while learning about what NCPA and MPhA have to offer in the coming year. There is no cost to attend, and free appetizers will be available. RSVP at by November 10.

Then, ride the Green Line or drive just a little more than a mile to help us celebrate American Diabetes Month! (See details below.)

Celebrate American Diabetes Month in St. Paul with Interprofessional Colleagues from AADE and MPhA

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

For the third year, MPhA is partnering with the American Association of Diabetes Educators for an evening of networking, food and fellowship at the Ewald Conference Center beginning with dinner and social hour followed by a very timely program presented by dynamic speaker David Tridgell, MD, an adult endocrinologist with Park Nicollet. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to mix and mingle and share with your colleagues at this annual complimentary event.

Topic: The Rising Cost of Insulin — Poster Child for a Dysfunctional System
Presenter: David Tridgell, MD, Adult Endocrinologist, Park Nicollet
Location: Ewald Conference Center, 1000 Westgate Dr., St. Paul, MN 55114

Registration is open now!

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.

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

FDA Launches Global Operation to Crack Down on Websites Selling Illegal Medications

From FDA email, Oct. 24: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, announced that it is targeting 465 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of opioid, oncology and antiviral prescription drugs to U.S. consumers.

The effort is part of Operation Pangea XI, the eleventh annual International Internet Week of Action. This global cooperative project is led by Interpol to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit medical products sold on the Internet. Read the full news release.

National Pharmacy Groups Kick off Campaign Highlighting the Pharmacist

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, Oct. 29: The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations are among the organizations that have launched a new public awareness campaign aimed at educating consumers about the valuable contributions pharmacists make to their patients and to our nation’s health care system as a whole.

The coalition of partner organizations, known as Pharmacists for Healthier Lives, aims to raise the profile of pharmacy as an essential healthcare profession.

Members of the Pharmacists for Healthier Lives partner organizations will have access to an online toolkit of key messages and branding resources to utilize in their own personal and professional communications. The general public can also engage with Pharmacists for Healthier Lives on its Facebook page and through the campaign website.