MPhA News

Small Doses

November 16, 2018
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Brainerd Town Hall Brings Together Nearly 40 Members

Nearly 40 members and guests gathered at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa earlier this week for an informative program on effective and efficient diabetes management with Dr. Eric Johnson of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Participants also heard about Minnesota pharmacy’s advocacy work from Laura Schwartzwald and Marsha Millonig, and there was great sharing of ideas! Thanks to hosts Laura and Mike Schwartzwald of Guidepoint Pharmacies, and to sponsor Novo Nordisk!

Brainerd Town Hall

See more photos from the event at the MPhA Facebook page

Successful Collaborative Event with AADE/MPhA

Around 40 members and guests gathered at the MPhA headquarters in St. Paul on Nov. 15 as MPhA partnered with the American Association of Diabetes Educators – Minnesota for the third consecutive year. The evening of networking, food and fellowship included a timely presentation by David Tridgell, MD, on the rising cost of insulin.

AADE/MPhA Collaborative Event

Happy Thanksgiving from MPhA

At this time of giving thanks, our gratitude goes out to all our MPhA members along with wishes for a joy-filled holiday with loved ones. The MPhA offices will be closed on November 22 and 23 to allow our staff to spend time with family and friends. Some staff members will be on vacation Monday through Wednesday, but we will have staff available to answer phone calls and emails those days.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

MPhA Member Testifies on Outpatient Drug Rule at Minnesota Senate Committee Hearing

The Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on Nov. 14 on the CMS-Covered Outpatient Drug Rule (COPDR, published in 2016). The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) made a presentation and took testimony on the rule. MPhA member Tim Gallagher of Sterling Pharmacy provided supporting testimony on the DHS proposal, and also gave specific testimony on behalf of MPhA related to the COPDR and another related issue, the impact the wholesale/provider tax has on Minnesota fee-for-service Medical Assistance (MA) reimbursement.

MPhA Members Testify at State Senate

MPhA student pharmacists and others met with key state senators on Nov. 14. L-R: Student pharmacists Lindsey Parks, Jacob Shimpa and Kyle Anstett; Senator Jim Abeler, Senator Matt Klein, Senator Chris Eaton, MPhA Past President Tim Gallagher and student pharmacist Gabe Johnson.

The Rule was published to address the rise in prescription drug costs by ensuring that Medicaid programs reform payment methodologies for prescription drugs and to ensure drug rebates accurately reflect market prices. Of consequence to pharmacists across the country and certainly here in Minnesota, the new rule calls for a more transparent/true acquisition cost of drug ingredients to be coupled with a more accurate/true reimbursement rate for dispensing cost.

CMS encouraged States to adopt the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) to calculate the cost of drug ingredients. Minnesota, one of four states still out of compliance with the '16 COPDR, is proposing to change the Minnesota reimbursement equation to the NADAC for ingredient cost and a base reimbursement rate for dispensing cost. The DHS draft proposal proposes a $10.48 reimbursement rate for dispensing cost. The proposal also calls for a periodic survey to determine the reimbursement rate for dispensing cost moving forward (2 or 3 years depending on what's adopted) following an initial survey and implementation.

MPhA Events

MPhA/GRAPh Town Hall

Thursday, December 13 • Timberlake Lodge Hotel, Grand Rapids

Come join your colleagues in Northern Minnesota for a chance to network, learn and share with one another while having your voices heard! GRAPh’s hosts are MPhA members Heather Bibeau and Sara Elioff of Bigfork Valley Hospital & Clinics. You’ll have the opportunity to mix, mingle and visit with exhibitors and other health professionals while sharing fellowship before the dinner program.

We have joined with Novo Nordisk and you’ll have a 2-for-1! You’ll hear Dr. Eric Johnson, Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, discuss the need for effective and efficient diabetes management across the health care continuum. Then MPhA President Jason Varin and Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig will provide an update on Minnesota Pharmacy’s advocacy efforts in 2018-2019 and lead a Town Hall. You can also share your thoughts and ideas for both future GRAPh and MPhA events. We look forward to seeing you there!

The event is complimentary for MPhA members (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and student pharmacists); non-members pay just $25.

Register Online

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

November 27 & 29 • 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:
Tuesday, November 27, Noon CST
Thursday, November 29, 6 p.m. CST

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 or contact Julie Schuffman at

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: Non-Discrimination — Are You in Compliance?

December 19 • Online Webinar

Discrimination is a hot topic! Are you compliant? If you receive any payments from government programs for goods or services, then Section 1557 applies to you. In addition to prohibiting discrimination, it gives patients who have experienced discrimination the right to civil litigation. This program will cover the background and key provisions of 1557, including examples of discrimination, and provide information and tools that you can use for staff training and to ensure compliance.

Register Online

About Our Presenter:

Denise Frank has 30+ years of experience as a pharmacist. Currently she is an independent consultant at Frank Consulting, LLC, and a Senior Associate with Gates Healthcare Associates, Inc., in the areas of pharmacy practice, technician training, compounding, pharmacy and wholesaler accreditations, and operational and regulatory compliance. She is also the Program Director for an ASHP/ACPE accredited online technician training program for CareerStep, and a certified consultant for ACHC. She is a former member of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy.

Previously serving as a surveyor and then the Accreditation and Inspection Services Manager for NABP, her responsibilities included development and maintenance of accreditation and inspection programs, and supervising NABP inspectors. Prior to this, she was an independent pharmacy owner, worked for a health system, and was a pharmacy manager and district manager for a pharmacy chain. Denise is an active member of several national and state pharmacy organizations, and with the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy serving as a mentor and a pharmacy alumni board member.

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

February 5, 2019

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

April 4

MSHP/MPhA Joint CE Town Hall
St. Cloud Area

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

17 Groups Urge Congress to Reject Big Pharma Bailout

From the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing News Release, Nov. 13: The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is a coalition of 17 organizations including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the American Hospital Association. CSRxP is committed to lowering drug prices, and sent a letter to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), urging them to preserve the actions Congress took in the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 to protect seniors and taxpayers from out-of-control drug prices during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress.

How the Midterms May Change Health Care

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today newsletter, Nov. 14: The results of the midterm elections will have implications for health care across the country. With the U.S. House of Representatives controlled by Democrats, efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are likely to stall. Short-term insurance plans will also likely come under greater scrutiny with Democratic control of the House. Voters in three states (Nebraska, Idaho and Utah) approved Medicaid expansion, and Democratic governors were elected in three states where the previous governors resisted expansion (Maine, Kansas and Wisconsin).