MPhA News

Small Doses

June 14, 2019
News from MPhA
Minnesota News
National News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Trumm Drug Is Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year

Trumm Drug Alexandria Minnesota

Trumm Drug, a Health Mart pharmacy in Alexandria, Minn., has been named the Health Mart Pharmacy of the Year. The designation is only awarded to top-performing Health Mart pharmacies for superior clinical performance, high-touch patient relationships and proactive advocacy efforts. Trumm Drug owners Aaron Finley and Allan Fettig will accept the award during McKesson ideaShare on June 28, 2019.

Read the Full Article

Leadership Summit and House of Delegates Event Draws a Crowd

Just over 100 people attended our Leadership Summit and House of Delegates event this week. Thanks to all for making this one of our best-attended events! The discussion was lively, and the feedback provided will drive the future success of MPhA and pharmacy as a whole in Minnesota.

House Of Delegates participants

A highlight of the day was presenting Doris Calhoun with the green jacket given to MPhA past presidents. Doris, who was the first woman to serve as MPhA president, served before the tradition began. In short remarks to the group, Doris shared that she is celebrating her 50th year as a member of MPhA.

Larry and Doris Calhoun

Doris Calhoun with her husband Larry

Our new officers and directors took the oath of office and began their terms of service at the event. Many thanks to Michelle Aytay, Jorgan Kvaal, William Larsen, Cheng Lo, Tony Olson and Michaela Wermers, who have completed their terms on the Board of Directors.

MPhA Directors take Oath of Office Michelle and Jason

Our 2019-2020 Board, left to right: President Craig Else, President-Elect Michelle Johnson, Ann Byre, Speaker of the House Alison Knutson, Ross Fishman, Christel Svingen, Reid Smith, Sarah Westberg, Kris Nemitz, Amanda Brummel, Brandon Anderson, Bruce Benson and Luke Slindee

Past President Michelle Aytay also received her green past president’s jacket during the event

Jason Varin, Jill Strykowski and Rachel Root Jason and Marsha

President Jason Varin presented Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance Co-Chairs Jill Strykowski and Rachel Root with awards recognizing their service to Minnesota pharmacy

Interim Executive Director Marsha Millonig (right) received a special gift in recognition of her contributions to MPhA during the past five years

Visit MPhA on Facebook and Instagram for many more photos and memories from the day. You can also follow us on Twitter, @MinnPharmAssoc

Many Thanks to Our Sponsors:

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. • Lilly USA, LLC • Merck • ViiV Healthcare

Bronze Sponsor
Geritom Medical • Novo Nordisk

At the Capitol this Week:

Important: Medicaid MCOs Go to Uniform Preferred Drug List on July 1

Effective July 1, 2019, the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) that offer drug benefits to Minnesota Health Care Programs (Medicaid) members must use the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ Uniform Preferred Drug List (PDL). This will create a more consistent drug benefit for all members and minimize disruption of members’ health plan changes. The uniform PDL was reviewed and recommended by the Drug Formulary Committee and includes many commonly used medications. This does not apply to members with dual Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

MCOs are contacting both prescribers and patients who are on medications that will require prior authorization to be continued after the July 1 transition. However, it is likely that some patients will request refills of medications after July 1 and will not be aware that either a prior authorization or change of medication is required to continue therapy. It is important to note in these situations that the prescriber can file a “Continuation of Therapy” prior authorization request that will provide 90 days to either request a long-term prior authorization or transition to a preferred drug.

MPhA is working with the Department of Human Services and is providing input on a PDL workgroup. Pharmacies are encouraged to contact Sarah Derr via email at with any issues that occur with the change in the PDL.

Get More Information

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

Minnesota Hits 17 Overdose Deaths in Two Weeks — and it Could Get Worse

From KARE11-TV, June 9: In just two weeks, at least 17 people have died in Minnesota due to drug overdoses, and medical professionals say there is reason to believe that the problem could get worse before it gets better.

"This is a public health emergency and it's going to affect all sectors of our society," said Dr. Gavin Bart, Director of the Hennepin Healthcare Division of Addiction Medicine. "It's a tragedy to see this happen, especially to see so many die so quickly. It makes me think that there must be a new batch of something in town and people don't really know what they're getting their hands on."

Read the Full Article

DHS/MDH Project Tackles Mental Illness and Diabetes Prevention Concurrently

The Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Department of Health are collaborating on a Diabetes Prevention Program pilot especially targeted to people with mental illness. For many people, physical well-being and mental health are connected. Lifestyle choices such as exercise and choosing healthier foods can help manage stress and mental health triggers.

The pilot project wrapped up in 2018. Results included nearly two-thirds of participants losing weight and all participants reporting that they exercised more and ate healthier. One of the best outcomes was that the participants became part of a group; in the mental health arena, this is a very big win.

Read More about the Project

National News

Hearings on CVS-Aetna Deal Wrap up

From Wall Street Journal, June 7: Federal court hearings on CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna wrapped up on June 6 without a firm date when Judge Richard Leon plans to rule on a Justice Department settlement that allowed the deal. Legal uncertainty for the merged company could linger well into the summer. The judge has expressed concerns the settlement does not do enough to protect consumers, including those who purchase medication under Medicare Part D.

Read the Full Article

Senators Express Disappointment to Administration on DIR Fee Reform

From National Community Pharmacists Association, June 10: On June 7, a bipartisan group of 28 U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Trump. They shared disappointment that the recently finalized Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule, Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out of Pocket Expenses, failed to finalize the pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform for plan year 2020.

The letter stated, “While we commend the administration for your goal to reduce seniors’ out of pocket costs for prescription drugs, we believe that finalizing this rule without including DIR reform is a missed opportunity to deliver real cost savings to Medicare beneficiaries.”

Read the Full Letter

“Pumping Heart Patch” Ready for Human Use

From BBC News, June 4: A “pumping” patch containing millions of living, beating stem cells could help repair the damage caused by a heart attack or heart failure, researchers say. The patch, only about an inch across, is sewn onto the heart after being grown from a sample of the patient’s own cells. The research was presented at the British Cardiovascular Society meeting this month; patient trials are expected to start in the next two years.

Read the Full Story

MPhA Events

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.

Learning Objectives:

  • 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.

Register Now

Special MPhA Webinar: Prepare Your Pharmacy for New Laws Effective in Weeks

Wednesday, June 19 • 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. • Online Webinar

This year’s legislative session was very active — numerous legislative issues passed that will impact pharmacy. Any bills included in the Omnibus budget bill signed by Gov. Walz take effect on July 1, 2019, because the omnibus bill contained a fiscal note. All other issues that passed will be effective on August 1, 2019. Don’t be caught off guard — attend this webinar to stay informed about changes.

MPhA and Minnesota Pharmacy had great success at the session —but there were also bills we did not sponsor with pharmacy-related provisions that need to be implemented on July 1, 2019.

During this one-hour webinar, Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance Lobbyist Buck Humphrey and MPhA Public Affairs Committee Co-Chairs Jeff Lindoo and Tony Post will walk through the issues pharmacists and pharmacies need to address.

Specific issues that will be addressed include:

  • Opioid Stewardship: limitations on prescribing, prescription filling for CII-V, refilling for CIII-V, identification checking requirements
  • Medication Administration Expanded Authority
  • Minnesota Fee-for-Service Medicaid Reimbursement: Implementation process and important documentation needed from pharmacies
  • Forthcoming changes to the Minnesota Managed Care Medicaid Preferred Drug List
  • Minnesota Provider/Wholesaler tax changes
  • Authority for Emergency Prescription Refills
  • Prescription Drug Repository Program — LTC PDs recycling program
  • Recipient of Emergency Prescription Orders & Drug Coverage in Emergency Situations and payment
  • Medicaid going to a unified Preferred Drug List for all MCOs

The PBM Licensure and Regulation bill will be discussed in a future webinar — but if time permits, the speakers will answer questions about it.

View Details & Register Now

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery

September 29 • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

MPhA Annual Learning and Networking Event

October 3-4 Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

Sponsorship opportunities are available now!

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

February 20, 2020 • Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul