MPhA News

Small Doses

February 1, 2019
News from MPhA
MPhA Events
Minnesota News
National News

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Pharmacists Testify at State Capitol

Jessica Astrup Ehret, PharmD, testified in support of S. 278 at the Senate HHS Finance and Policy hearing on Jan. 31 about the need for transparency, patient fair practices and PBM licensure and regulation. MPhA member Gary Boehler (a third party consultant) and Dave Renner from the Minnesota Medical Association also testified in support.

Jessica Astrup Ehret Gary Boehler

Dr. Jon Schommer Receives APhA Academy Award

MPhA member Jon Schommer, MS, PhD, RPh, of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, has been announced as the recipient of APhA’s Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding, meritorious achievement in any of the pharmaceutical sciences.

The APhA announcement stated, “Dr. Schommer is a true scholar, research scientist and passionate pharmacist in the areas of economic, social and administrative sciences. Schommer has moved pharmacy forward through teaching and research in the domain of medication optimization that translated research findings to patients, practice and communities.”

Honorees will be officially recognized at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle, March 22–25, 2019. The APhA Awards and Honors Program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.

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 who 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 180 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 Midwest Pharmacy Expo!

February 8-10 • Hilton Des Moines Downtown, IA

The Midwest Pharmacy Expo starts next week — and it’s not too late to register for 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. We expect legislation to be introduced in the Minnesota Legislature this year to address this topic.

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

May 31, 2019

APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Mgmt. Services
Twin Cities, St. Paul

June 12, 2019

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

Minnesota News

UMN College of Pharmacy Health Fair at the Capitol

Join student pharmacists from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy on February 21, 2019 at the Capitol Rotunda! Learn about the role of pharmacists on a health care team, explore the diverse patient populations pharmacists serve and talk to the next generation of pharmacists! Stop by to engage with the local Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance initiatives.

Who: University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Students
What: A free educational health fair for the public on safe medication use, managing common health conditions and healthy living
When: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Capitol Rotunda - 75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, St Paul, MN 55155

National News

What IRS Pass-through Rule Means for Pharmacy Owners

The IRS has finalized its rules on the pass-through deduction, a result of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. NCPA recommends that pharmacy owners talk to their accountant or tax counsel on the applicability of this pass-through deduction to their business based on the types of services and product dispensing conducted at their pharmacy. Download a one-page summary of the rule.

Pharmacy DIR Proposal Supported by Nearly 3,500 Pharmacists

A years-long effort led by the National Community Pharmacists Association to build support for a proposal to move pharmacy price concessions to point-of-sale reached a critical milestone on Jan. 25, 2019. Nearly 3,500 pharmacists and 170 patients formally voiced their support for parts of a proposed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services drug pricing rule that would eliminate the retroactive nature of pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees, or pharmacy DIR.

The proposed changes also received support from more than 150 pharmacy stakeholder organizations representing diverse interests, which unified their voices and submitted a joint letter of support to CMS. Additionally, more than two dozen patient advocacy organizations supported the proposed rule on the premise that, if finalized, the pharmacy DIR fixes will save the average patient nearly $200 per year (or more, in some cases) on their out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

Get more details

Federal Legislation Proposed to Lower Drug Prices

U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), and Mark Warner (D-VA) have released a draft version of the Patient Affordability, Value and Efficiency Act, bipartisan legislation they are developing to facilitate new and innovative payment models for pharmaceuticals and other medical services so that patients have better access to treatment, the health care market is more efficient, and drug prices are more affordable.

Cassidy and Warner are requesting feedback from all interested parties to ensure highly technical changes enabling value-based arrangements are thoroughly vetted, and that important oversight protections are preserved. Submissions should be emailed to Dr. Cassidy’s office at and to Sen. Warner’s office at by February 19, 2019.

Read the Full News Release

Multiple hearings on drug pricing are being held in the U.S. House and Senate. For additional information, read an article on the STAT website. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists drafted statements that were submitted into the record both in the House and Senate.