MPhA News

Small Doses

March 1, 2019
News from MPhA
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Speedie Op-Ed Calls for Pharmacists to Play Larger Role in Curbing Drug Costs

Marilyn Speedie, Dean Emeritus of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, wrote an op-ed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Feb. 20) to recommend curbing prescription drug costs by enlisting pharmacists “in optimizing the use of” prescription drugs “the public and health plans are paying for.” Speedie wrote this hinges upon pharmacists “making sure patients are using the least expensive cost-effective alternative therapy and eliminating duplicate therapies.” Speedie added that the US Department of Health and Human Services recently published a report which recognizes the benefits of tapping into pharmacists’ skill set and “calls for full use of all health professionals, including pharmacists, working in teams to optimize efficient medical care.”

Palombi Recognized as Prevention Champion

MPhA member Laura Palombi, PharmD, has been recognized by the Minnesota Prevention Resource Center (MPRC) as a Prevention Champion. “I’m fortunate to work with rural coalitions, public health departments, educational institutions and health care institutions to find community-specific solutions to the opioid crisis,” Dr. Palombi told MPRC. “Through focus groups, interviews and check-ins with these partners, we learn more about substance abuse and the technical assistance needs of rural communities.”

At the Capitol this Week

Key Legislation Advances in State House

Key pieces of legislation moved forward this week at the Capitol. HF 728 on PBM Licensure and Registration was heard in the House Commerce Committee. Astrup CFO Randy Shindelar and MPhA Past President Michelle Aytay were among those who testified. The Commerce Committee re-referred the bill to the Government Operations Committee, the next move forward. In addition, HF 1297, Outpatient Drug Reimbursement legislation that would bring Minnesota into compliance with the CMS Covered Outpatient Drug rule on Medicaid Fee-for-Service reimbursement, was heard in the House Health and Human Services Finance Division.

MPhA posts regular legislative updates on the Advocacy page of our website.

Michelle Aytay

MPhA Past President Michelle Aytay was among those who testified before the House Commerce Committee on the PBM Licensure and Registration bill.

MPSA Health Fair Helps to Inform Legislators, Aides

The Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance held a very successful information Health Fair at the Capitol rotunda on Feb. 21. Using tabletop displays, students helped to inform legislators and staff about the role pharmacists play in keeping communities across Minnesota healthy — from Medication Therapy Management to asthma control and from smoking cessation to Medicare Part D.

Natalie Haddad, Hanh Bui, Marissa Cummins

Natalie Haddad, Hanh Bui and Marissa Cummins (left to right) provided information on Operation Diabetes.

Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance members

Fourteen members of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance participated in the Health Fair.

Student Pharmacists share information about asthma

Students shared information about how pharmacists can help patients to control asthma and quit smoking.

DHS Fact Sheets on Governor’s Budget Proposal

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has provided fact sheets on several items related to Gov. Walz’s budget proposal. Two of the fact sheets are of particular interest to pharmacists: ONECare MN would give more Minnesotans access to coverage and would leverage the state’s purchasing power to negotiate better prices for prescription medications. A proposal to comply with the Federal Outpatient Pharmacy Rule would include (among other things) a 2 percent increase to payment rates to pharmacy providers to offset the cost of the pass-through of the wholesaler provider tax to pharmacies.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Wanted: Candidates for 2019 MPhA Board of Directors

Today Is the Deadline! New: Two Pharmacy Technicians Needed for Ex Officio Role

The MPhA Leadership Development Committee is looking for members who are interested in serving 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 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.

We are looking for two technician Board members who will serve in an ex-officio role. If you are interested, please contact MPhA President Jason Varin for more information.

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 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

National News

Senators Chastise Drug Companies on High Prices

From the Associated Press, Feb. 26: Channeling the ire of constituents and drawing from personal experience, senators in a Senate Finance Committee hearing chastised drug company executives Tuesday over the high cost of prescription medications, while the CEOs warned that government price controls could stifle breakthroughs on diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Read the Full Article

NCPA Pharmacy Fly-In, April 10-11

NCPA Pharmacy Fly-In

The National Community Pharmacists Association will hold its annual Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In event again this year. You’ll get briefings on key issues, share your story with members of Congress, and fly home… all in about 48 hours. NCPA anticipates that CMS will finalize its proposed drug pricing rule – on which NCPA members recently submitted 3400+ comments in support of the DIR provisions – sometime in early April, which could make this event all the more important as a grassroots advocacy opportunity.

Get More Details & Register Now

MPhA Events

Register Now: APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services

Friday, May 31 • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

This program qualifies you to register as a provider with MN Medicaid and conduct and receive payment for Medication Therapy Management services.

Seats are limited for this course. If space is still available, you will receive confirmation of your admission. If the program is closed, your credit card will not be charged, and you will be notified. Participants must complete the self-study component, attend the live training seminar, and complete the follow-up case studies to receive full credit and certification for this course.

To Receive Full Credit for this Course:

  • Participants must complete the self-study component
  • Participants must attend the live training seminar
  • Participants must complete the 12 follow-up case studies

Register Online

Register Now: Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation Exclusive Wine Pairing Dinner

Saturday, April 13 • Lilydale Pool & Yacht Club, Lilydale

The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation (MPF) will hold an exclusive 4-course wine pairing dinner at the Lilydale Pool and Yacht Club on Saturday, April 13. The incredible menu has been custom created by Chef Kevin Gillis to match the wines. The private Lilydale Pool and Yacht Club is an elegant setting on the Mississippi River where guests will watch the sunset while gathering for the elegant dinner. The event is limited to 75 people. This is a wine pairing with full pours (not a tasting), and guests will enjoy the program featuring a wine connoisseur describing the wines you’ll experience; then Chef Gillis will give insights on his food pairings for each. A gourmet indulgence to support student pharmacists!

If you are interested in purchasing a table, please contact Marsha Millonig or Bryan Mowry at, 651-366-6094 or, 651-366-6099. If you are unable to join but would like to sponsor one of our five 2019 Scholarship Recipients please contact Marsha or Bryan. Register Now!

Register Online

Central Minnesota Resident Clinical Pearls — MSHP/MPhA Joint CE Event

April 4 • 5-7:30 p.m. • Courtyard by Marriott, 404 W. Germain St., St. Cloud, 56301

Local pharmacy residents will each provide a brief 10-minute presentation on a unique or novel approach to drug therapy learned during their residency year. The goal of this event is to provide an opportunity to showcase our Central Minnesota pharmacy residents, while providing an opportunity for residents, preceptors and pharmacists to learn and network with each other. Residents involved will each present a short presentation on a unique or novel therapeutic approach to drug therapy. Resident clinical pearls often include a brief, specific discovery made about therapeutics during their residency year. Topics can be based on an exceptional patient, can be controversial, and/or based on limited evidence (although not required). They can be small points taken from recent literature and applied during the residency year.

Register Online

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: From Student to Practitioner: Laying Out a Roadmap for Success

March 19, 2019 • Online Webinar

Graduation (from a residency program or pharmacy school) is exciting, but how do you make sure you’re ready for the next step? In this session, we’ll discuss important skills to handle potential challenges, such as time management, continuing education, work-life balance and more. You’ll learn about challenges new practitioners encounter and get examples of solutions.


Sara Massey is a first-year Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Resident practicing at Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy in Kansas City, Missouri. Throughout she served as the President of the UMKC APhA-ASP Chapter and held national leadership positions in APhA-ASP and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, where she focused on both student development and education. During her residency, she has enjoyed working with diverse patient populations and is excited to continue to grow as a teacher and preceptor and develop strong patient-provider relationships at clinic.

Kyle Walburg received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2018. She is currently in her first year of a two-year PGY1 Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Residency through the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Her practice site at Broadway Family Medicine allows her to practice with an underserved population; as her practice site is a family medicine residency training site, she enjoys the daily opportunity to advocate for the pharmacy profession with primary care providers.

Registration Fees

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

Register Online

Don’t Miss This Event! Independent Pharmacy Conference 2019

May 2-5 in San Antonio, TX

The 2019 Independent Pharmacy Conference, May 2-5 in San Antonio, is the event of the year for independents. Open to all independent pharmacies regardless of memberships, this event delivers savvy business advice via nine exceptional CE courses. You will also take advantage of a 70-vendor trade show showcasing key vendors with the latest solutions for your success.

Continuing Education will focus on your business success; this year’s lineup features a look at key profit drivers; long term care insights, the latest pharmaceutical industry trends, 340B opportunities, a legislative update, effective marketing strategies, and, understanding the CBD Oil arena, and more.

The three-day conference also features a 60+ vendor trade show exposition, networking opportunities, an inspirational keynote from Scott Hamilton and fabulous receptions & entertainment. You won’t want to miss this fantastic event.

To register or for more conference information, click here.

Register Online

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

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