MPhA News

Small Doses

April 12, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Marsha Millonig Receives Weaver Medal

Marsha MillonigLongtime MPhA member and Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig received the Weaver Medal at a reception on April 9 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The Lawrence C. and Delores M. Weaver Medal is given annually by the College of Pharmacy to recognize an individual or group for providing sustained and distinguished support of the College of Pharmacy, or for an outstanding contribution to pharmacy education, practice, research or outreach.

MPhA and MSHP Collaborate on Resident Clinical Pearls Program in St. Cloud

MSHP-Heartland and MPhA hosted a joint program on April 4 to highlight clinical pearls presented by pharmacy residents. Nearly 40 pharmacists gathered for an evening of fellowship and learning. MPhA President Jason Varin, Executive Director Sarah Derr and Education and Events Co-chair Michelle Johnson brought greetings from MPhA. It was a great event — we hope to host more joint programs in the future.

MPhA MSHP Program

Heather Blue Receives MSHP Outstanding Pharmacist Award

Heather BlueMPhA member Heather Blue, PharmD, has been honored with the Outstanding Pharmacist Award for 2019 from the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP). Dr. Blue is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

College of Pharmacy Announces Awards

Dr. Jeannine Conway from the Twin Cities campus and MPhA member Heather Blue, PharmD, from the Duluth campus, have been selected as PharmD Teachers of the Class of 2019 by the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. The college also announced that Tara Haakonson and MPhA member Grant Anderton have been selected as PharmD student speakers at this year’s commencement ceremony.

Wanted: Technician Candidates for 2019 MPhA Board of Directors

The MPhA Leadership Development Committee is looking for interested members 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 May 1, 2019.

You will need to sign in with a Google account to access the form (some organizations will not let you access this form from work, so you may need to access it from your home computer).

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 that 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 a 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), 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!

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 MPhA President Jason Varin at or Executive Director Sarah Derr at To apply, please submit your nomination now.

At the Capitol this Week:

PBM Licensure Passes State Senate on Unanimous Vote

The Minnesota pharmacy community made major gains in its advocacy agenda around PBM reform with the unanimous passage (67-0) of SF 278 by the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation Act (SF 278) was introduced by a bipartisan group of authors in the state Senate. The bill’s chief author is Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), and co-authors are Sens. Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls), Melissa Wiklund (DFL-Bloomington), Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake) and Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake). Access full information on MPhA’s legislative agenda.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Community Forums on Substance Abuse

Six Events Scheduled for Aitkin and Itasca Counties in April and May

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is teaming with University of Minnesota Extension and the Public Health service in Aitkin and Itasca counties to present a total of six Community Forums on Substance Abuse. All events include dinner and a program, and child care is available at four of the six events.

Download the flyer for Aitkin County
Download the flyer for Itasca County

Organizer Laura Palombi writes, “If anyone is interested in volunteering at these events, or knows students who may be able to join us, please feel free to let us know you'll be volunteering by entering your availability/role in our sign-up genius account. We do already have students providing Generation Rx programming at some of these events.”

These forums are supported by the USDA Rural Health and Safety Grant that focuses on community-level interventions to address the opioid crisis in Aitkin and Itasca Counties.

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

PBM Execs Testify on Capitol Hill

From FierceHealthcare, April 8: Executives from five pharmacy benefit management companies (Express Scripts, CVS Caremark, Human, Optum and Prime Therapeutics) testified before the Senate Finance Committee on April 9; it was the latest hearing on solutions to drive down drug prices. On Monday, Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement that “middlemen in the healthcare industry owe patients and taxpayers an explanation of their role.”

Read the Full Article

Related: How Little-known Middlemen Defend Themselves on High Drug Prices

Next DEA Take Back Day Is April 27

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. A majority of abused medications were obtained from family and friends. Please help publicize this event to your patients to prevent addiction and overdose deaths.

Learn More

Trends in Retail Prices of Generic Prescription Drugs for Older Americans

MPhA member Stephen Schondelmeyer of the PRIME Institute at the University of Minnesota has co-authored a report for AARP — the latest in the AARP Public Policy Institute’s Rx Price Watch series. The study found that retail prices for widely used generic prescription drugs declined, on average, between 2006 and 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, retail prices for 390 generic prescription drugs widely used by older Americans, including Medicare beneficiaries, fell by an average of 9.3 percent. Not all generic medications saw prices decline; the therapeutic category with the highest generic drug price increase was medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease, with an average annual price increase of 20.5 percent in 2017.

Read the Full Report

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

Coming Next Week! 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

Register Now: MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting

Wednesday, June 12 • 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. • Midland Hills Country Club, Roseville

The 2019 Leadership Summit and House of Delegates theme is Building Tomorrow Together. The program will be inspirational and motivational, and will provide you with the opportunity to network, learn and share with your peers throughout the day. The morning program will celebrate MPhA’s past, honor its present and create its future! You will hear invigorating messages of traversing your leadership journey while we find inspiration together to prepare for our future. You’ll hear about MPhA’s strategic initiatives and welcome new MPhA Executive Director Sarah Derr, PharmD. We will share advocacy successes for MPhA and the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance in the afternoon and be challenged to lay the groundwork for future advocacy initiatives to enable pharmacists to meet the health needs of Minnesota communities.

During the House of Delegates, you will hear the State of MPhA from leadership, discuss policy proposals and new business and install MPhA’s new leaders for the year. We’ll close our day with a networking reception honoring our Past Presidents, leaders in our profession and MPhA volunteers. The day is designed to provide us with a glimpse of how far we have come to advance patient care and practice and where we need to go next.

By participating, you will join your colleagues in advancing Minnesota pharmacy practice! You’ll be involved in discussions on important initiatives and pharmacy’s advocacy agenda and earn 3.75 hours of continuing education credits.

During registration, you’ll be asked if you are willing to serve as a delegate and for what district, academy, group or affiliation. MPhA strives to include you as a delegate to your preferred district, academy or group, however, we reserve the right to assign delegates as needed for full representation.

The House of Delegates annual business meeting will include recognizing member achievements through the MPhA leadership awards, installing new officers and board members, learning about strategic plan progress and committee achievements, and presenting and reviewing 2019 policy proposals. A number of important issues will be discussed. This is your time as a member to voice your opinions and shape your association!

Register Online

Learn More about Sponsorship

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 — plus 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

October 3-4, 2019

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

Sponsorship opportunities are available now!