MPhA News

Small Doses

July 19, 2019
News from MPhA
National News

Minnesota News
MPhA Events

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Members Report: Primary Care Providers Believe that CMM Improves Work-Life

MPhA members Kylee Funk, PharmD, Deborah Pestka, PharmD, and Todd Sorensen, PharmD, were among the authors of a research article that aimed to identify how primary care providers perceive the impact of comprehensive medication management on their work-life. Not surprisingly, the primary care providers spoke of pharmacists as an added skillset and a collaborative partner in caring for patients. The article was published in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Read the Full Article

Significant MPhA Presence at AACP Conference

MPhA members Todd Sorensen, Kristin Janke and Jeannine Conway were among the Minnesota delegation at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Pharmacy Education 2019 conference in Chicago. Dr. Sorensen, who is serving as AACP president-elect, led several sessions.

At the Capitol this Week

Important: Medicaid MCOs Now on Uniform Preferred Drug List

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 for a wide range of medical conditions. This does not apply to members with dual Medicare and Medicaid coverage. The Uniform PDL flowchart has been posted.

Uniform Preferred Drug List

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

Did you miss our special webinar on June 19? Listen to the on-demand version any time!

Click Here for the Recorded Webinar

Call for Articles: Minnesota Pharmacist Journal

The Minnesota Pharmacist, the MPhA’s journal, is always looking for articles, particularly of a clinical nature. The deadline for our Fall issue is Oct. 10, and the deadline for our Winter issue is Jan. 6. Articles should be educational in nature and will be reviewed by volunteers from the MPhA Editorial Committee prior to publication. If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact Laurie Pumper at the MPhA office for additional information.

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

Minnesota News

New Wage Theft Law Began July 1; Updated Sample Employee Notice Provided By DOLI Available Now

From Minnesota Retailers Association, July 3: One outcome of the 2019 Legislative session is a new wage theft law with portions that impact all employers across Minnesota. The law kicked in July 1. This issue of The Retail Beat shares important compliance information from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI).

Retailers of all sizes and locations are subject to the new law. One provision employers need to be aware of and prepare for is a new employee noticing requirement that took effect July 1 for all new employees.

See below for information on the July 1 requirements. To review all your obligations under the law visit

Also, click here for a sample employee notice from the Department of Labor and Industry.

Reminder: Documentation of 2% Minnesota Wholesaler Tax Needed ASAP

Minnesota has passed legislation to come into compliance with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Covered Outpatient Drug Rule. The goal of the CMS rule is to more closely align product reimbursement with actual acquisition cost and to change dispensing fee reimbursement to align with the true cost of dispensing. The parameters of the new rule will set FFS Medicaid product reimbursement to the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) and raise the dispensing fee to $10.48. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (MDHS) will then conduct cost of dispensing surveys with a revised rate recommendation to the Legislature in 2021 and will conduct a survey every 3 years. All pharmacies doing business in Minnesota are asked to provide DHS with information by July 31.

The next step in implementing the rule is for MDHS to file a State Plan Amendment (SPA) with CMS, who then reviews and approves it. In Minnesota, the SPA will be complicated by the 2% Minnesota Wholesaler Tax. MPhA has been in touch with Chad Hope, MDHS Deputy Director, Div. of Purchasing and Service Delivery, to understand what documentation all pharmacies doing business in Minnesota need to provide in order to assist CMS in making a positive decision to reimburse pharmacies for the 2% fee.

Jeff Lindoo of our Public Affairs Committee has created a template that is acceptable documentation of your payment of the 2% Wholesaler Tax to share with Dr. Hope. Dr. Hope has indicated that he believes having this documentation from nearly ALL pharmacies doing business in Minnesota will be important for CMS to make a positive decision, allowing our SPA to be approved and coming into compliance with the CMS Covered Outpatient Drug Rule. If CMS were to make a negative decision on reimbursing the 2% tax, NO PHARMACY IN MINNESOTA WOULD RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE 2% TAX, creating a very negative business bottom line on these claims.

Your action is needed to get this information to Dr. Chad Hope as soon as possible. Please follow the template. If you are not the appropriate person within your pharmacy operations to complete this documentation, please forward this email to the right contact point for action. As noted in the template, information can be sent directly to Dr. Hope at:

Chad Hope, PharmD
Deputy Director, Division of Purchasing and Service Delivery
Minnesota Dept of Human Services
540 Cedar Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

National News

FDA Statement on Actions to Tackle Youth Vaping Epidemic

On July 12, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland issued a decision that, among other things, requires makers and importers of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and certain other tobacco products like cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah to submit applications for their currently marketed products to the agency within 10 months.

FDA Acting Commissioner Norman “Ned” Sharpless said, “The FDA stands ready to accelerate the review of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products. And we remain committed to tackling the epidemic of youth vaping using all available regulatory tools at our disposal. We will continue to take vigorous enforcement actions aimed at ensuring e-cigarettes and other tobacco products aren’t being marketed to, or sold to, kids.”

Read the Full Statement

Trump Administration Withdraws Rebate Rule

From HealthCare Finance, July 11: The Trump Administration has pulled back on its proposal to eliminate safe harbor protections for rebates paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers to PBMs and health plans participating in Medicare and Medicaid. No direct reason was given, but a Reuters source speculated that the administration would instead focus on drug makers. Moody’s credit analysts said the move was positive for health insurers that own large PBMs.

Read the Full Report

APhA Annual Awards and Honors Program

The American Pharmacists Association is accepting nominations for its Annual Awards and Honors program — the most comprehensive recognition program in the pharmacy profession. The deadline is September 1. Nominate a colleague today:

Alliance for Patient Medication Safety

MPhA Events

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: What’s Happened to Pharmacy Crime Since the Crackdown on Opioids?

Wednesday, August 21 • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • Online webinar

In the midst of what has been a “crisis of prescription drug addiction,” data indicate that pharmacy burglaries and robberies are occurring less frequently than in the past. How significant is the shift? Will this continue? What does history tell us? Why should the pharmacist care?

Our presenter is Michael Warren, ARM, OHST, Corporate Risk Manager with Pharmacists Mutual Insurance. Mike is a frequent speaker on topics related to pharmacy risk management, with audiences including the National Association of State Controlled Substances Authorities, the National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit. He has spoken at fifteen pharmacy associations and six universities over the past few years.

Register Now

APhA’s Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program

Sunday, September 29 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • Ewald Conference Center, St. Paul

APhA’s Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery certificate training program is based on national educational standards for immunization training from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program is designed to educate pharmacists about the professional opportunities for vaccine advocacy and administration. This practice-based curriculum represents a fusion of science and clinical pharmacy. The program, which emphasizes a health care team approach, seeks to foster the implementation of interventions that will promote disease prevention and public health.

The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to provide immunization services to patients across the life span.

This certificate training program has three components: online interactive self-study with assessment; the live seminar with online final assessment; and hands-on assessment of intramuscular and subcutaneous injection technique. A Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to participants who successfully complete all program components, including an evaluation.

Our faculty members are John Creasy, RPh; Laurie Deegan, RPh; and Melanie Schwartz, RPh; all are with Fairview Pharmacy Services.

Register Now!

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

MPhA Annual Learning and Networking Event

October 3-4 Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park

Sponsorship opportunities are available now!

Thanks to the following sponsors and exhibitors!

Lunch Sponsor: University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy
Silver Sponsors: Anda • Arkray USA, Inc.
Exhibitors: Abbvie • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals • McKesson • Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance • Pharmacists Mutual • SpartanNash

Registration Will Open in Early August

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

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