MPhA News

Small Doses

March 8, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Kelly Potz Interviewed for Sen. Wiger’s Cable TV Program

MPhA member Kelly Potz, who also serves as president of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance, will be interviewed next week for state Sen. Chuck Wiger’s cable TV program on Channel 16, the Maplewood City Cable Channel, as well as Suburban Cable Channel GTN 16. The program, Your Capitol: What’s Up?, is expected to air March 17, 18, 20 and 22.

COP Team Advances in AMCP Competition

Congratulations to the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy’s team of Ethan Heidorn, Rachael Pearson, Lindsey Samera and Bridget Williams for being one of the top eight teams in the national Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Foundation's 19th Annual Pharmacy & Technician Competition! They will compete at the AMCP Annual Meeting on March 26.

MPSA Members Volunteer at JDRF Event

The JDRF One Walk is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the organization, and members of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance served as volunteers for the event. Held on Feb. 23 at the Mall of America, the event has raised more than $1.4 million that will support life-changing breakthroughs in treatment and research for those living with type 1 diabetes. Many thanks to the MPSA volunteers!


Student pharmacists made a difference at the JDRF One Walk.

At the Capitol this Week

Action on PBM Licensure and Regulation Bills

Key pieces of legislation moved forward this week at the Capitol. S 278 on PBM Licensure and Regulation was taken off the table in the Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee during its hearing on Thursday, March 7, an amended bill was passed out of committee and the next stop will be the Commerce Committee.

Sen. Scott Jensen amended the original bill, removing fiduciary terminology while adding fair practices language considered in common law. There were excellent discussion and questions on this point, with a number of committee members expressing their concern with its removal.

Sen. John Marty’s A10 amendment was also accepted; it would allow pharmacies that meet a PBM’s mail order terms to fill prescriptions for patients. Senators asked any potential opponents to make comments during the hearing rather than staying silent and opposing behind the scenes. As a result, representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Cigna/ESI and Prime Therapeutics provided brief comments noting their concern and willingness to continue to work with Sen. Jensen. The tone of the hearing was cordial and the discussion was respectful — but definitely weighing in favor of moving this measure ahead.

Today (March 8), HF 728 on PBM Licensure and Regulation was heard in the House Committee on State Government Operations and passed out of committee; we believe the next stop is the House Finance Committee. We will keep you informed on the MPhA Advocacy area of our website, through alerts and through Small Doses.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Pharmacy Representation Needed for Advisory Task Force on Lowering Pharmaceutical Drug Prices

An Advisory Task Force on Lowering Pharmaceutical Drug Prices is now forming, and at least one pharmacist will be included in the group. Other members will include state legislators, patient advocates, an academic leader, medical practitioners and the executive director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. This group will serve in an advisory capacity to Attorney General Keith Ellison to recommend possible solutions to the problem of high prices for pharmaceuticals. Specifically, a “Small (locally owned) Pharmacy Representative” is sought. Get more information and apply.

National News

Sen. Smith among Those Urging FDA to Speed Approvals of Generic Insulin

From American Pharmacists Association’s Pharmacy Today, March 1: A bipartisan group of senators (including Minnesota’s Tina Smith) sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently, asking FDA to amend its 2018 guidance that was intended to ease the approval pathway for lower-cost biosimilar products, saying it instead creates a “perverse incentive that could delay approval of generic insulin.”

The four senators noted that although the guidance will bring new insulin products to market next year, the current regulatory framework could postpone the introduction of low-cost insulin products in the short term. “It remains unacceptable that—nearly a century after insulin was first discovered—there are no approved, lower-cost insulin products that can be substituted at the pharmacy level,” the senators wrote.

FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Announces Resignation

From National Public Radio, March 5: The commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, announced on March 5 that he is resigning the position, effective in one month. Gottlieb won approval from many as an effective advocate for public health. Within the Trump administration, he stood out for his efforts to more tightly regulate several industries; he's been particularly intent on curbing vaping and making generic drugs more accessible.

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

PTCB Certification Eligibility Requirements Will Change in 2020

From Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, Feb. 28: Starting in 2020, PTCB, the nation’s leading certifying organization for pharmacy technicians, will change its eligibility requirements for the Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) Program and update its Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). PTCB will offer two eligibility pathways for technicians submitting certification applications beginning January 1, 2020. One will be completion of a PTCB-recognized education/training program, and the other will be equivalent work experience.

“PTCB relies on data and pharmacy stakeholder conversations in all we do with the goal of advancing medication safety,” said William Schimmel, PTCB Executive Director and CEO. “The new eligibility requirements are based on input from pharmacy professionals that certain knowledge, skills, and abilities are acquired most effectively through education/training or work experience. Pharmacy employers can be confident that PTCB-certified pharmacy technicians have demonstrated they have the knowledge to advance patient care in today’s pharmacy,” Schimmel said. Read the full press release.

States Forum on Pharmacist Birth Control Services

From American Pharmacists Association, Feb. 28: One of the most exciting opportunities on the rise in expanding pharmacist’s scope of practice is prescribing hormonal contraception. Ten states along with Washington, DC, have already passed legislation or regulation allowing pharmacists provision of hormonal contraception. And, eight more states are considering similar bills. A special States Forum on Pharmacist Birth Control Services will be held on March 24 as part of the American Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting.

Please register for this FREE session hosted by Birth Control Pharmacist.
APhA meeting registration is not required to attend this forum.

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—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 at, 651-366-6094. If you are unable to join but would like to sponsor one of our five 2019 Scholarship Recipients please contact Marsha.

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