MPhA News

Small Doses

April 19, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation Dinner Raises Funds for Scholarships

Over 50 people attended the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation Wine Pairing Dinner on Saturday, April 13. Held at the beautiful Mendakota Country Club, the dinner raised funds to provide scholarships for students at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Find more photos at the MPhA Facebook page.

Fundraiser Fundraiser Fundraiser

Tammy Bezdicek Receives MSHP Meritorious Service Award

Tamara Bezdicek

MPhA member and MSHP Past President Tamara Bezdicek received the Tom Kohout MSHP Meritorious Service Award at the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists annual conference in Duluth. Tammy has also served as co-chair of the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance.

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:

Third Deadline Complete; Legislature Prepares for Final Month

The Minnesota legislature is officially on recess (Spring break). Using a football analogy, legislators will start the fourth quarter of the game when they return on Tuesday, April 23. April 12 was the legislature’s third committee deadline; all finance, bonding and tax bills must have been heard by their respective committees by that date and either be passed out to the House Ways and Means Committee or, in the Senate, passed to the Finance Committee.

The next, less certain legislative deadline agreed to by Senate Majority Leader Gazelka and House Speaker Hortman earlier in the session requires both the Senate and House to have all budget bills passed off their respective floors and budget bill conferees named by May 1. The governor, Senate majority leader and speaker of the House will then provide agreed-upon fiscal targets to the conference committee chairs by May 6, and conference committee chairs will complete their reports to the house of origin by May 13. The legislature then has until around May 18 to send passed budget legislation to Gov. Walz for signature or veto.

This is a good time to contact your legislators to encourage them to support MPhA’s advocacy agenda.

Access full information on MPhA’s legislative agenda.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

MDH Toolkit Offers Info on E-cigarettes and Quitting Nicotine Use

Among Minnesota high school students, e-cigarette use is now double conventional cigarette use. But because the brain is still developing until around age 25, early exposure to nicotine can lead to addiction and disrupt attention and learning. No amount of nicotine is safe for youth. To help provide factual information and resources to help Minnesotans of any age quit using nicotine, the Minnesota Department of Health has developed a toolkit with material for the general public and for health professionals.

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

FDA Takes Step to Lower Insulin Prices

FDA is transitioning certain biological products currently regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act)—which governs the generic pathway for conventional drugs (a.k.a. small molecules)—to be licensed as biologics under the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act). This includes insulin, a biologic drug, according to an FDA statement.

FDA will hold a public hearing on May 13, 2019, to discuss this transition and the unique challenges the introduction of competitive insulin products may bring. The agency hopes to gain feedback from stakeholders and patients alike regarding different factors it should consider as it works to build a “solid regulatory foundation for the review and approval” of these products. FDA added that the input from the hearing will also help to inform the agency on further steps it can take to make high-quality, affordable insulin options more accessible to the public.

America’s Other Drug Problem: Polypharmacy

The Lown Institute published a report earlier this month on how the drive to prescribe is harming older adults in the U.S. Every day, 750 Americans who are age 65 or older are hospitalized due to side effects from one or more medications. The report notes that more than 40 percent of older adults take five or more prescription medications in a day, an increase of 300 percent over the past 20 years.

Download the Full Report

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

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. There are more reimbursable MTM opportunities than there are pharmacist providers to conduct the encounters. Help patients and your bottom line by becoming a provider through this course!

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: 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

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break: Meditation: The New Milk? It Does a Body Good!

Wednesday, May 15 • Noon-1 p.m. • Online webinar

Contemplative practices such as mindfulness and meditation are increasing in popularity as a stress management tool and wellness strategy. They can also have an impact on work performance and medication safety. During this virtual coffee break program, we will explore the history of meditation, review the major types of meditation and outline the emerging science and health benefits behind this ancient methodology.

About the Speaker:

Lisa Hanlon Wilhelm, BS Pharm, RPh, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and completed the ASHP Executive Residency in Association Management. Most of her time since residency has been spent practicing pharmacy at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., primarily in Medication Safety and Regulatory Compliance. Lisa also worked with ASHP Advantage for over 13 years, co-facilitated the ASHP Clinical Skills Competition for 9 years and worked at the National Patient Safety Foundation for just under 2 years. Lisa’s interest in meditation is beyond personal — she has begun to incorporate teaching basic mindfulness and heart rhythm meditation practices for stress reduction as well as to improve focus and attention to improve medication safety at Hershey Medical Center.


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 — 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!