MPhA News

Small Doses

January 25, 2019
Breaking News
News from MPhA
MPhA Events
Minnesota News
National News

Breaking News

Bill to License and Regulate PBMs Introduced in Minnesota Senate

SF 278, a bill that would regulate and license pharmacy benefit managers in Minnesota, was introduced this week in the Minnesota Senate. This bill aims to address issues that pharmacists from across our state have struggled with in recent years. The chief author is Sen. Scott Jensen, MD, of Chaska. Additional authors are Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls (Assistant Majority Leader); Sen. Melissa Wiklund of Bloomington; Sen. Rich Draheim of Madison Lake; and Sen. Michelle Benson of Ham Lake (Deputy Majority Leader). No companion bill has been introduced in the Minnesota House yet. Learn more about this bill during Minnesota Legislative Day and let your own legislators know how it would affect your business and your practice of pharmacy!

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

MPhA Member Quoted in Washington Post

MPhA member Jeff Johnson of West Seventh Pharmacy in St. Paul was quoted in an article about the recent dust-up between Walmart and CVS Caremark pharmacy networks. Reporter Christopher Rowland wrote, “At West Seventh Pharmacy in St. Paul, Minn., owner Jeff Johnson said he is banding together with other independent pharmacists in a group purchasing organization to leverage wholesaler discounts. With a CVS and a Walgreens a mile and a half away, Johnson said, he is focused on serving a small neighborhood of St. Paul near the Mississippi River.

“He is unconcerned about Amazon’s entry into the business.

“'Walgreens and CVS are going to have to compete with Amazon,' he said. 'I’m not even in that boat.'’’

The article was picked up by at least 20 media outlets across the U.S.

Do you have news to share about MPhA members and their achievements? Help us spread the news about the good work that our members are doing across Minnesota! Send material to Communication Director Laurie Pumper at

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Wanted: Candidates for 2019 MPhA Board of Directors

The MPhA Leadership Development Committee is looking for members who are interested to serve on the Board of Directors and begin a two-year term in June 2019. We need the best skills, passion, and varied perspectives to build an energetic, inclusive and strategic governing Board. Serving on the MPhA Board of Directors is an opportunity to provide leadership and direction to the association as we strive to meet our mission: Serving Minnesota pharmacists to advance patient care. With health reform implementation rapidly underway, it is a very exciting time to be at the table to discuss the changes that are occurring and help chart the course for the profession.

The deadline for submitting your nomination is March 1, 2019.

Submit a Nomination

If serving on the MPhA Board of Directors interests you, please fill out the online Call for Nominations form.

The Board of Directors is composed of the following members: President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, the Speaker and Vice Speaker of the House, two rural and two metro directors elected from nominees put forward by the districts/regional groups, five directors at-large elected from nominees put forward by the academies, a pharmacy technician ex-officio representative and ex-officio representatives of associate organizations. MPhA’s Board of Directors can recognize associate organizations that are comprised of pharmacists or student pharmacists that are independent of MPhA, but share common interests, members and need for inter-organizational communication and coordination. Associate organizations are granted one seat on the MPhA Board of Directors ex-officio without vote, which they may choose to exercise. The Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (MN-ASCP), the Minnesota College of Clinical Pharmacists (MCCP) and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP) and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy are associate organizations. Staggered terms have been established so that each year there are board positions up for re-election. This means the opportunity for fresh new ideas from energetic pharmacists to participate and make a difference!

In 2019, MPhA is seeking nominees/applicants for:

  • 3 Member-at-Large Positions
  • 1 Metro Board Member Position

The MPhA board of directors meets monthly with alternating 3-hour meetings (in person, typically during odd-numbered months), and 1-hour meetings (via conference call, typically during even-numbered months). The incoming MPhA President has discretion to modify the schedule to best meet the needs of the board and the association. 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 To apply, please submit your nomination now.

Submit a Nomination

MPhA Events

2019 Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

February 5, 2019 • Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul

You can make a difference! Join us to advocate for your professional interests and for pharmacy’s interests to advance patient care — come to Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day! Even if you have never talked with, called or written your legislators before, this event will give you the tools you need to do so! More than 150 people are already registered — register now before all our seats are gone!

Friend of Pharmacy the Honorable Roz Peterson (former representative, R-56B) will open the day with insights from her decade serving as a legislator and interacting with colleagues as she moved pharmacy and other issues forward. Roz will provide a view from the inside of the Capitol and share tips for how to engage with your legislator for the maximum impact. We’ll celebrate her achievements as she is bestowed with the Friend of Pharmacy Award from the Minnesota pharmacy and retailer community.

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is the one annual event that represents the voice of all pharmacy settings in Minnesota for legislators, the governor and other policy makers! It is your opportunity to learn about the issues, gain the tools you need to advocate, and network with colleagues and the policymakers who will be supporting pharmacy’s issues. The day will feature a morning session, afternoon at the Capitol and an evening networking reception and program, complete with meals throughout the day and more than 5 hours of continuing education! This year we are back on the Capitol grounds at the Best Western Capitol Ridge with complimentary parking and within an easy walk of all your meetings.

The Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance, MPhA, MSHP, the Minnesota Retailers Association and the Minnesota Grocers Association look forward to seeing you there!

Register Online

Don’t Miss Out on the Discount for Midwest Pharmacy Expo!

February 8-10 • Hilton Des Moines Downtown, IA

Today is the last day to save $25 on your Midwest Pharmacy Expo registration! Register by January 25 to save on the Midwest’s premier live continuing pharmacy education event. Register HERE!

Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with colleagues from across nine Midwestern states, plus hear from experts from across the country!

Friday – Clinically Intensive Workshops: High-level clinical programming designed for pharmacists with advanced certifications or those interested in obtaining certification.

Saturday Keynote: Dr. Paul Radde on professional burnout.

Saturday Breakout Sessions: Five sessions featuring four tracks — Continuity of Care, Professionalism, Provider Readiness, and Hot Topics — covering topics like USP 800, point of care testing, cardiology, and professional burnout.

Sunday: Two traditional favorites — New Drug Update and Gamechangers sandwiching a pharmacy law session on HIPAA and electronic messaging.

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: Medication Recycling

February 20, 2019 • Online Webinar

More than 40% of Americans report struggling to pay for their medications. At the same time, every year Long Term Care (LTC) facilities in the United States (including Minnesota) are throwing away billions of dollars worth of safe medication. Medication repositories allow LTC facilities to donate their unused, safe medications that would otherwise be wasted to patients who can’t afford them. Medication repositories can lower the cost of medication, improve health care outcomes, reduce health care spending at the state level, and even remove pollutants from the environment. Twenty-one states already have functioning medication repository programs, but state law currently prohibits this common-sense solution in Minnesota.

Register Online


Rowan Mahon holds an MPH from the University of Minnesota and is currently a PharmD/MHI student at the University. In 2017 she founded the Public-health Advocacy Student Alliance, which is an interprofessional student organization at the University of Minnesota representing different health care professions including Pharmacy, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, and Healthcare Administration. PHASA works under the mission of empowering students to improve health disparities through policy and advocacy measures. Rowan was the head organizer for PHASA’s legislative effort and played a key role in forming the legislation that was created last session.

Registration Fees

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

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

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

Minnesota News

UMN Tests “Smart” Tablets with Cancer Patients

From Pharmacy Today, a publication of APhA, Jan. 17: In a test project with pharmacists from Fairview Health and manufacturer Proteus Digital Health, pharmacists at University of Minnesota Health are attaching digital sensors to chemotherapy drugs to detect when cancer patients are forgetting or falling behind on tumor-killing medications.

Smart tablets have been used to improve "medication adherence" for patients with heart problems or mental disorders, but the university became the first to test their effectiveness with oral chemotherapy. The technology could significantly improve cancer care because the timing and dosage of chemotherapy is critical, notes Edward Greeno, MD, who directs the university's oncology service line. "The therapy window—the difference between what's too much and too little—can be pretty narrow," he says. "You want to know [the drugs are] being given right." Ingestible sensors are affixed to the tablets, then send signals to receiver patches that patients wear on their stomachs. The receivers send the drug-consumption information to patients' mobile phones and to doctors' medical records. Approximately 177,000 Proteus digital sensors have been swallowed with medication to date. The system works because so many people rely on mobile phones, and will respond to alerts or "behavioral nudges" from them to take their medication, says Proteus CEO Andrew Thompson.

National News

You’re Invited: Partnership for Safe Medicines Congressional Briefing

MPhA is a partner in a Congressional briefing on January 31 that tackles the issue of counterfeit medicine in America. All MPhA members are invited to attend. The briefing will feature victims of counterfeit medicines, federal and local law enforcement, and the original DEA agents from Netflix’s Narcos, who will speak about the new role of drug cartels in the fake medicine trade.

The links will take you to the agenda and allow you register for a ticket for the event. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
RSVP: House briefing (breakfast provided) — Thu. Jan. 31, 2019 @ 9am
RSVP: Senate briefing (lunch provided) — Thu. Jan 31, 2019 @ 12pm

NASPA, NCPA Executives Highlight Opioid Education Toolkit

NASPA CEO Rebecca Snead and National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO Doug Hoey recently wrote an opinion piece in Drug Topics on the Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) Pharmacy Toolkit. Pharmacists are in a unique position to educate their patients on the risks of prescription opioid use, as well as safe storage and disposal of unused or expired pills — and this toolkit contains the educational tools to help them do so.

Download the Toolkit

NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards

The National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS) is currently accepting nominations for its 2019 NAIIS Immunization Excellence Awards. These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions toward improving vaccination rates within their communities during 2018.

The awards focus on individuals and organizations that exemplify the meaning of the “immunization neighborhood” (collaboration, coordination, and communication among immunization stakeholders dedicated to meeting the immunization needs of the patient and protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases). There are five award categories and winners will be honored at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit in May. Deadline for nominations is February 15, 2019.

Learn More