MPhA News

Small Doses

March 29, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Member Selected to Present at IAS Conference

Prosperity Eneh, a Nicol Lab Global Health Fellow at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, has been accepted to present at the International AIDS Society conference in Mexico City in July 2019. Her abstract describes DDI frequency in an inpatient cohort presenting with OIs.

Minnesota Has Significant Presence at APhA Convention

Dr. Lucinda Maine, alumna of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, received the Remington Award (APhA’s highest honor) and was a presenter at APhA’s annual convention in Seattle. Lucinda was introduced by COP Dean Emeritus Marilyn Speedie. Dr. Jon Schommer was presented with the APhA-APRS Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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

Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance Bills Continue Moving Forward

This is the last week policy bills can be considered in the Minnesota legislature. Bills that met the first legislative deadline of March 15 have until today (March 29) to meet the Legislature’s second legislative deadline. The third legislative deadline — the deadline for all tax, bonding and budget bills to be heard — is Friday, April 12. Four Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance (MPA) legislative priorities moved forward this week.

Expanded limited medication administration by pharmacists, the long term care and other medication recycling legislation SF 66 (Jensen) and emergency prescribing authority for pharmacists HF 687 (Bahner) are all moving forward through the legislative process. Limited medication administration for pharmacists-contained in the Senate Opioid Stewardship legislation SF 751 and the medication recycling program legislation are up this week for consideration. The House Opioid Stewardship legislation, HF 400, which does not contain the limited medication administration language, was passed off the House floor, 94-34, last week. Both Opioid bills are to be conferenced now that the Senate bill, SF751, has been heard in the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Committee. We have been working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on consensus limited medication administration language and ensuring it remains in the final Opioid Stewardship legislation to be signed by Gov. Walz. Reps. Mann and Morrison introduced the companion pharmacists prescribing in three medication categories legislation HF 2635 to the Senate bill, SF 959.

Last week, Gov. Walz announced his revised supplemental budget, which took into consideration the revised budget forecast that came in $500 million less than the November state budget forecast of approximately $1.5 billion. The adjustments to his budget include:

  • Claiming $142 million in unspent money targeted for the individual markets (MNSure) reinsurance plan to reduce risk for health insurers in the individual market and returning it to the state's general fund. Republican legislative leaders had planned to use the money to extend the reinsurance program. Walz instead has a plan to subsidize insurance premiums by 20 percent.
  • Reducing spending increases by $131 million from his original budget proposal across a variety of areas. Those savings are slightly offset by $37 million in spending for a number of items not in the governor's original proposal.
  • Tax changes for businesses that add $65 million to the two-year budget.
  • Instead of leaving $789 million unspent as his original plan did, Walz now leaves $562 million on the bottom line.

Overall, Walz's revised budget totals $49.35 billion for the coming biennium, $121 million less than his original proposal.

Last week, the legislature moved several MPA priorities forward. The Senate Commerce Committee amended and passed out its version of the Patients Fair Practices Act, SF 278 (2nd Engrossment). Negotiations and considerations were made with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which had opposed the legislation based on the requirement that a PBM be a fiduciary (Section 4), and concerns with Section 7, which would require ownership of specialty and preferred network pharmacies be disclosed as well as other anti-steering and patient protection provisions.

Earlier in the legislative process, the Senate HHS Finance Committee modified Section 4, the fiduciary provisions of the legislation. Section 7 was modified last week in Senate Commerce to accommodate both MPA and the Chamber’s wants and concerns. Because these two sections were amended in the Senate, the Minnesota Chamber has dropped its opposition to the Senate bill. However, the Chamber still has concerns with the House legislation, where both Sections 4 and 7 remain intact as originally introduced.

The House or Senate bill language may be further negotiated during a presumed conference committee that will be formed to put a final bill together that will be passed in both houses and signed by Gov. Walz. Section 6 of the legislation, the all-important drug pricing and fees transparency provisions, will also be a point of negotiation as the House (preferred) language calls for reporting aggregate-claims level (deidentified) information to plan sponsors and the Commissioner of Commerce/Dept of Commerce in an annual report. The Senate Section 6 language is weaker. The next two to four weeks will be critical to the outcome and final legislative language.

SF 278 now moves to its last committee, the Senate Finance Committee, where it should be voted out to the Senate floor or could be laid over for possible inclusion in the Senate HHS Finance budget bill. Our understanding from Chairs Rosen, Benson and Dahms, as well as author Sen. Scott Jensen, is that they would like to move the bill alone and soon on the Senate floor for a vote. The House legislation was scheduled to be heard in its final committee, the HHS Finance Committee, on March 26 before either being laid over for possible inclusion in the House HHS Finance budget bill or heading to the floor for a vote with possible amendments. We are encouraging House leadership and Rep. Mann to pass out HF 728 to the House floor for a vote soon.

Read the full legislative update.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Minnesota Pharmacies Needed for Survey on Employability Traits in Graduates

What traits do employers seek in pharmacy graduates? Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences Director Teri Undem with the NDSU School of Pharmacy is conducting a survey to look at desirable employability traits and abilities for new pharmacy graduates (non-residency trained, first-time pharmacist positions).

The NDSU School of Pharmacy is recruiting pharmacists for the brief study that looks at desirable employability traits and abilities. If you’re involved in hiring new pharmacists in Minnesota, North Dakota or Iowa at hospital/health systems, chain and independent pharmacies, both rural and urban, here’s an opportunity to share your knowledge by participating in a brief survey process.

The survey contains four main questions, as well as a few demographic questions relating to practice setting, population, etc. The survey will be administered via email using Qualtrix. Responses will be compiled and the same four questions sent out again for clarification purposes.

One final survey round will be used that will compile all responses and ask for respondent ranking by importance. Each round of the survey is expected to take less than 10 minutes and is approved by the NDSU Institutional Review Board.

Share your knowledge about the skills and abilities employers seek when hiring new pharmacists.

To participate, or if you know someone who may like to participate, please email before April 12, 2019.

MPSA Auction Event, May 3

The Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance (MPSA) is hosting its annual live and silent auction fundraiser on Friday, May 3, at the TCF Bank Stadium Indoor Club Room. The Silent Auction begins at 6:30 p.m. and the Live Auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. All the funds that are raised go directly toward the following school year’s funds/budget to support the professional development of students at the College of Pharmacy. There will be appetizers at the event as well as a cash bar. It is a speakeasy/1920s theme and it's encouraged to dress for the theme (not required, though). Anyone is invited to attend; entrance to the event for non-students is $20. Donations of auction items are also welcome! For more information, contact Kayla Kermode,

National News

Almost 40% of T1D Patients Quit Closed-Loop System

From Pharmacy Today, a publication of APhA, March 26: Almost 40% of first-time users of the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system (Medtronic) stopped using the device within 9 months, mostly because of technical difficulties, according to research.

Co-lead investigator Gregory Goodwin, MD, of Boston Children's Hospital, said that although this technology is "theoretically brilliant," it needs to be "more user-friendly." From May 2017 to August 2018, Goodwin's clinic had 93 patients—aged 5–25 years—who decided to start treatment with the MiniMed 670G. Reasons for stopping use included frequent alarms, forced exits from automode so users have to switch back to manual mode, calibration requirements, premature sensor failure, skin adhesion problems, and sensor supply problems. The majority of patients withdrew because "they were kicked out of automode," Goodwin said. He said that in order to improve compliance with these devices, manufacturers need to "decrease the frequency of alarms, and decrease the frequency of forced exit from automode."

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: 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

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

Coming Next Week: 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: The New & Improved Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program

Wednesday, April 17 • 11:30 a.m. • Online webinar

This webinar will focus on the Minnesota PMP from the pharmacist’s perspective. Permissible use, reporting requirements and Controlled Substance Insight Alerts are among the items that will be discussed. The webinar will conclude with a demonstration of the new and improved Minnesota PMP database.

About the Speaker: Katrina Howard, PharmD, works as the pharmacist consultant for the Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program within the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. Dr. Howard currently chairs the National Association of State Controlled Substance Authorities (NASCSA) PMP Committee. She graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

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 70-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. Register today!

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
Sponsorship is Open Now — Learn More

October 3-4, 2019

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park