MPhA News

Small Doses

May 24, 2019
News from MPhA
National News
Minnesota News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Sen. Wiger’s Interview with Kelly Potz Now Available

MPhA member Kelly Potz was interviewed by Minnesota State Sen. Chuck Wiger back in March for his program to provide information for his constituents. The interview was just posted to YouTube recently. Kelly discusses how patients can cope with rising costs of medication, the work of the Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance in providing preventive care and the rigors of earning a doctoral degree in pharmacy, among other topics.

MPhA Members Earn Promotions at COP

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has promoted three MPhA members. Shown left to right in the photo: Rui Zhang was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure; Sarah Westberg was promoted to Professor; and Chrystian Pereira was promoted to Associate Professor.

Promotions at COP

MPhA Members Present Posters at NABP Annual Meeting

Three students from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy (all MPhA members) presented posters at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Annual Meeting, which was held last weekend in Minneapolis. Thanks to Danielle Armbruster, Tuesday McAuliffe Staehler and Jeremy Kobany for their work!

Danielle Armbruster

Danielle Armbruster’s poster was titled Patient Support System Impact on Attitude and Understanding of Diabetes Mellitus. Among her conclusions: Patients who had support and encouragement from family and friends were more likely to keep their blood glucose levels under control.

MPhA Election Results

We are pleased to announce the results of our recent election for the MPhA Board of Directors:

President Elect
Michelle Johnson, Fairview Pharmacy Services, Minneapolis

Metro Board Member
Sarah Westburg, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Minneapolis

Ross Fishman, Allina Health – Mercy and Unity Hospitals, Eden Prairie; Rebecca Pickler, Walgreens Pharmacy, Sartell; and Christel Svingen, Red Lake Hospital Pharmacy, Red Lake

These members will be officially installed in their offices at the Leadership Summit and House of Delegates event on June 12. Many thanks to all the members who voted, and to all the candidates who were willing to serve MPhA!

Reminder: MPhA Bylaws Change

MPhA delegates will review a proposed change to the MPhA Bylaws at the Leadership Summit and House of Delegates meeting on June 12 at the Midland Hills Country Club in Roseville, Minn. This serves as MPhA’s official notice to members of the proposed change. The intent is to provide continuity in the Leadership/Nominating Committee by creating co-chairs. The proposed language follows. If you have any questions, please email Marsha Millonig at

Section 1: Leadership & Nominating Committee

The Leadership & Nominating Committee shall consist of a minimum of five (5) active members, each of whom shall serve a two-year term. These individuals shall be selected by the Co-chairs of the Committee from individuals who have responded to a solicitation for committee service made available to all active members. The two-year term may be adjusted by the Co-chairs, only as needed to ensure a balance and overlap of incoming and current members on the Committee. The balance of the committee members shall include the Immediate Past President and the Immediate Past President once removed, each of whom will serve a three (3) year term as a member of the committee beginning with their year as Immediate Past President. The Co-chairs of the committee shall be the Immediate Past President and Immediate Past President once removed. Committee members who are not Co-chairs shall not be Directors.

Reminder about MPhA Website

The MPhA website is optimized to work with Chrome and Firefox browsers (Safari also works well, but that does not seem to be the browser of choice for most of our site users). Internet Explorer is not supported for our website; you may encounter error messages and/or other problems, especially when registering for events.

At the Capitol this Week:

Governor Signs PBM Licensure Bill, Calls Legislature into Special Session

On May 17, Gov. Tim Walz signed SF 278 into law; this is the act that will license and regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The Commerce Department and Minnesota Department of Health will begin the PBM licensure rulemaking process this summer.

Gov. Walz has also signed HF 400, the Opioid Stewardship Fund bill, which was approved by the legislature on May 20. Among the important provisions included in the new law is limited medication administration authority for pharmacists to administer intramuscular and subcutaneous medication injections for the treatment of alcohol or opioid dependence or medications used to treat mental illnesses. The pharmacist’s direction to administer must be done a through prescriptive order or a collaborative practice agreement with a provider.
The governor has called the Legislature back for a special session that began at 10 a.m. today (May 24); by written agreement with legislative leaders, the special session must adjourn by 7 a.m. tomorrow, May 25. Legislators were still awaiting the release of the Health and Human Services Budget and a proposed Bonding Bill as we completed this report.

The Health and Human Services Omnibus budget bill language was finalized on May 23. It is not known if the specific provisions in the final HHS Omnibus budget bill include the Outpatient Drug Rule, the wholesaler/provider tax reimbursement for fee-for-service Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare transactions. The House, which released its HHS budget details earlier this week, included full funding of the Provider tax reimbursement for pharmacies. The Alliance has encouraged the Senate and HHS Senate Committee Chair Benson to include the reimbursement language—including the provider tax reimbursement language—in the final agreement.

Access full information on MPhA’s legislative agenda.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

May Is Mental Health Month

Pharmacists are often the health care providers who see patients most frequently, so we may see the signs of depression or other mental health issues. During Mental Health Month, the Minnesota Department of Health offers a reminder that suicide is preventable and does not have one single cause. Crisis resources are available at the Minnesota Department of Human Services website.

National News

FDA Warns against Use of Unauthorized Devices for Diabetes Management

From FDA News Release, May 17, 2019: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has cautioned patients and health care professionals about the risks of using unapproved or unauthorized devices for diabetes management. In a new safety communication, FDA said that using unapproved or unauthorized devices could lead to inaccurate blood glucose measurements or unsafe insulin dosing.

"Millions of Americans use continuous glucose monitors and insulin delivery devices to monitor and treat their diabetes," said Jeff Shuren, MD, JD, director of FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Because of the complexity of these devices and the life-saving care they provide, it's important that patients are aware of the risks that arise when they're not used as intended or when they use devices not authorized for sale in the U.S. By using products that have not been reviewed by the agency for safety and effectiveness, patients with diabetes may be putting themselves at risk for serious injury or even death."

FDA noted it is aware of some manufacturers illegally marketing unauthorized devices for diabetes management or illegally marketing components that patients may integrate into unauthorized automated dosing systems. Also, some patients may combine devices or components that are not intended for use with other devices. The agency expressed concern that patients may not be aware of all the risks involved with using components or systems not reviewed by FDA. According to a serious adverse event report received by FDA, a patient's use of an illegally marketed continuous glucose monitoring system along with an unauthorized insulin dosing system led to an insulin overdose that required medical attention.

Read the Full News Release

Why Putting List Prices in Drug Ads Matters

From website, May 17, 2019: The Trump administration recently finalized a requirement for drug companies to include the list price of most drugs in TV ads. John O’Brien, senior advisor to the Secretary for Drug Pricing Reform at the federal Health & Human Services Department, has written a blog to explain reasons for the new requirement. “One thing is indisputable,” he wrote, “Patients want this information.”

Read the Full Blog

MPhA Events

Register by May 29 to Save: MPhA Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Meeting

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

Register on or before May 29 to save $15 per person on registration! 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.

Michelle Johnson

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!

Read more and register now!

Learn More about Sponsorship

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: Ongoing National Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks — How Pharmacists Can Help

Wednesday, June 19 • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Online webinar

Learn about ongoing measles and hepatitis A outbreaks in the United States and the impact on population health. We will discuss vaccination as a way to stop these outbreaks. The recommendations for MMR and Hepatitis A vaccination will be reviewed. Additionally, we will explore ways that pharmacists can help target high-risk individuals indicated for vaccination.

Our presenters are Jennifer Heath, supervisor of the Education and Partnerships Unit in the Vaccine Preventable Disease Section at the Minnesota Department of Health, and Lynn Bahta, immunization clinical consultant in the immunization program at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Upon completion of this activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Describe the key epidemiological elements driving the national measles outbreak.
  • Describe the at-risk population involved in the current hepatitis A outbreaks.
  • Discuss key interventions to stop these outbreaks.
  • Discuss how vaccine recommendations can be applied in the pharmacy setting.

Upon completion of this activity, technicians should be able to:

  • Describe the key issues driving the national measles outbreak.
  • Describe the at-risk population involved in the current hepatitis A outbreaks.
  • Discuss interventions that the pharmacy technician can make to help promote vaccination.

Register Now

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

October 3-4 • MPhA Annual Learning and Networking Event • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

Sponsorship opportunities are available now!