MPhA News

Small Doses

March 15, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Schommer Receives Research Achievement Award

Dr. Jon Schommer of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has been named a Community Pharmacy Foundation (CPF) grantee. A Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences will be presented to Dr. Schommer on Sunday, March 24, during the second general session at the APhA annual convention’s Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science Awards.

MPSA Partners with Wild Hockey for Fundraiser

The Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA) is partnering with the Minnesota Wild for a hockey game on April 2. The Wild will give a discount for pharmacists, students, friends, family, and employer groups who buy tickets using this link for the game. The Wild will play the Winnipeg Jets. This link also allows people in the group to choose seats near one another. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased through this link will be donated to MPSA to help support MPSA’s work in the community. The link shares more info about the partnership with the Wild for this game.

MPSA will also have a table in the concourse space where members will represent the pharmacy profession and provide health education to game-goers. The group will also get a shout-out on the rotating banner.

At the Capitol this Week

It has been a busy week at the Capitol for a number of Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance issues. The Patient Fair Practices legislation, HF728, has met the first committee deadline in the House. In the Senate, the Patient Fair Practices legislation, SF278, was taken off the table and we expect it to be heard next week in the Senate Commerce Committee. Watch for potential alerts moving forward. Legislation to allow pharmacists to administer medications beyond first dose and emergency dose (SF1959) has been introduced by Senators Abeler, Jensen, Klein and Wiklund, and we anticipate introduction in the House within the next week or two. Pharmacist authority to prescribe naloxone, tobacco cessation and hormonal contraceptions, SF1960, has also been introduced in the Senate.

More details can be found on MPhA's Advocacy area of our website.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Sunday Deadline to Apply 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. The deadline to apply is Sunday, March 17.

DHS Aims to Change Narrative on Prescription Opioid Therapy and Abuse

A new education campaign developed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) in collaboration with the medical community aims to change the narrative around prescription opioid therapy, pain management and prescription opioid misuse in Minnesota. The campaign urges health care professionals to “flip the script” when speaking with their patients about opioids and pain management.

Many people struggling with opioid-related issues first became exposed to the drugs through prescription opioids for pain management. After years of wide variation in opioid prescribing, the medical community now faces the challenge of preventing new cases of inappropriate opioid use while continuing to provide appropriate pain management. The Flip the Script campaign includes a variety of resources for health care professionals.

Read the Full News Release

National News

A Look at Retail Pharmaceutical Spending, 2012 to 2016

From The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 8: Americans spend more on prescription medications each year than the citizens of any other country. Measuring drug spending remains a challenge, however, because of limited public data on how much the various payers and supply chain intermediaries pay for prescription drugs. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that total retail prescription drug spending rose 26.8 percent between 2012 and 2016—a faster rate of growth than all other categories of personal health care expenditures. This rapid growth was largely attributable to the introduction of new specialty drugs, such as those to treat hepatitis C and various forms of cancer.

Read the Full Report

Opinion: Why DIR Fee Reform Would Be a Win for Patients on Drug Costs

From Morning Consult, March 7: National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, wrote an opinion piece advocating for reform of DIR fees at the federal level. He wrote, in part, “Efforts to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs long have been stymied by, among other factors, a stunning lack of transparency in the system. Efforts to improve patients’ use of prescription medications are confounded by the many different reasons that people neglect to maintain, or even begin, their therapy.

“While the complexities of drug pricing and prescription use are well-documented, so are the connections between the two. Studies find that the cost of prescription drugs is cited routinely as a primary obstacle to taking medications as prescribed.” Read the full opinion article. The article has picked up momentum on Twitter, with many state pharmacist associations and other thought leaders voicing support for Anderson’s viewpoint.

NABP Statement on Drug Importation Proposals

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has developed a position paper that aims to persuade policymakers not to allow for importation of prescription drugs as a way to lower the cost of these medications. “Allowing Americans to import foreign medicines would put patients in this country at risk of harm from the infiltration of unapproved, substandard, falsified and counterfeit medicines into the U.S. supply chain,” the paper states.

Read the full paper. You may wish to share this information with your elected officials at the federal and state levels.

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—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 60+ 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, 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