MPhA News

Small Doses

August 2, 2019

News from MPhA

Mission Moment:

Trumm Drug Featured in PioneerRx Publication

From a blog post published by PioneerRx Pharmacy Software: Pharmacy ownership, let alone owning an award-winning pharmacy, was not on Aaron Finley’s mind when he began working at Trumm Drug in 2002. However, over the course of 17 years with Trumm Drug, “I kind of slowly changed the longer I was here,” Finley reflects. He is now the president and co-owner, alongside Alan Fetting.

The pharmacy staff at Trumm Drug recently received HealthMart’s 2019 Pharmacy of the Year award. Finley offered advice for pharmacies inspired to get to the next level, “The first thing is to motivate or identify somebody that can champion that initiative and then to start small to get practice and work out the kinks." Learn more about Trumm Drug's success with patient care, hospitals, marketing and community involvement.


Easy Way to Support Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation

The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation is on Amazon Smile. If you purchase from Amazon on a regular basis, please consider using Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases toward the charity of your choice. The funds raised go to support scholarships, student financial aid and other work that supports the profession of pharmacy for the enrichment of public health. The Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation is an option on Amazon Smile. Please consider the Foundation as your Amazon Smile Charity of choice. Please contact Sarah Derr at sarahd@mpha.org with any questions.


At the Capitol this Week:

Legislators Reach Agreement on Some Parts of Emergency Insulin Plan

From the Associated Press, July 29: A bipartisan group of legislators announced on July 29 that they have agreed on a plan to get emergency insulin to people with diabetes. They haven’t reached agreement yet on a way to pay for the plan. The plan would provide a 20-day supply of insulin to people who have a past or current insulin prescription and who meet certain financial requirements. Some could get an additional two-month supply, depending on their circumstances. Legislators continue discussions about how to pay for the plan, with Republicans favoring the use of general budget and DFLers calling for a fee on drugmakers. Read/listen to a report from Minnesota Public Radio.

New MA Reimbursement Rate Now in Effect

From Minnesota Department of Human Services, July 19: Important changes were made to state law regarding the reimbursement rate for outpatient drugs covered by the fee-for-service (FFS) Medical Assistance (MA) program during the 2019 legislative session. See the Office of the Revisor Statutes SF 12 Bill Text Versions webpage for statutory references. DHS will reprocess claims for dates of service from July 1-18, 2019 on Aug. 29, 2019, and they will appear on pharmacies’ remittance advice on Sept. 17, 2019. Effective for claims with a date of service on or after July 1, 2019, the following changes will be incorporated into the MA reimbursement for outpatient drugs:

Drug reimbursement (ingredient cost, for example)

  • The reimbursement rate for drugs is the same for all pharmacies. The differential rate paid to rural independently owned pharmacies was eliminated.
  • The reimbursement rate for drugs is the lesser of the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost (NADAC) (brand or generic), the state maximum allowable cost or specialty maximum allowable cost, or the usual and customary charge submitted. If a drug does not have a NADAC, state maximum allowable cost and specialty maximum allowable cost, then the reimbursement rate is the lesser of the wholesale acquisition cost minus 2 percent or the usual and customary charge submitted.

Dispensing fee

  • The dispensing fee for “covered outpatient drugs”, as defined by federal law, will be increased to $10.48 from $3.65.
  • The dispensing fee for covered drugs that don’t meet the federal definition of a “covered outpatient drug” will remain $3.65. An example of a covered drug that doesn’t meet the definition of a “covered outpatient drug” is a covered over-the-counter (OTC) multivitamin.
  • The dispensing fee for all compounded intravenous solutions was changed to $10.48 per bag. All other dispensing fees for compounded intravenous products were eliminated.
  • The dispensing fee for covered OTC drugs will be prorated if a claim is for less than the manufacturer’s original package size.
  • The retrospective billing pharmacy OTC drug dispensing fee was eliminated.
  • The Long-term care blister card system dispensing fee was eliminated.

For full information, including details on 340B reimbursement, OTC drugs, MinnesotaCare tax, and additional changes, visit the Minnesota Health Care Programs website.

APMS

Minnesota News

E-Cigs Banned in Most Indoor Workplaces

From Minnesota Department of Health, July 25: As of Aug. 1, laws protecting Minnesotans from exposure to deadly secondhand smoke now include the use of e-cigarettes and vapes. Under the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, the use of e-cigarettes and vapes are subject to the same prohibitions and restrictions as cigarette smoking.

Read the Full News Release


MDH Wins CDC Grant to Expand Program to Measure Children’s Chemical Exposures

From Minnesota Department of Health, July 29: The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is among six health departments nationwide to win a new cooperative grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will allow Minnesota to expand its biomonitoring program for measuring children’s exposures to chemicals of concern.

Biomonitoring tests chemicals in people and is an increasingly important tool in public health. Statewide biomonitoring can help identify groups at risk for potentially harmful chemical exposure and inform and evaluate policies and programs that reduce those exposures.

In recent years, MDH has successfully conducted a number of community projects that provided important information about exposures in several Minnesota communities. However, the impact of these efforts was limited by geographic scope and laboratory capacity. The new 5-year grant will increase the department’s ability to conduct biomonitoring statewide and identify exposure disparities and risk factors. MDH will work with local public health, school district partners and parents to recruit, with parental consent, 3- to 6-year-old children and will move recruitment systematically through different regions of the state. Participation in the program is voluntary.

More information on biomonitoring activities can be found on the Minnesota Biomonitoring: Chemicals in People page on the MDH website.


Rural Northland Faces its Own Drug Crisis

From Duluth News Tribune, July 27: Naloxone is saving lives in rural areas as well as in cities. But there’s less help in rural areas to address the underlying problem: the lack of programs available in rural Minnesota to help people escape the cycle of addiction. Law enforcement, social service agencies, faith-based organizations and others are engaged in the fight against overdoses. Since May, Sue Purchase, who works part-time for the Rural AIDS Action Network in Duluth and Virginia, has taken that agency’s needle exchange on the road in rural portions of the Arrowhead region, bringing syringes and other harm reduction tools to help people in isolated communities.

Read the Full Article

National News

Trump Administration Proposal Would Allow Prescription Drug Imports from Canada

From Wall Street Journal, July 31: The Trump Administration has announced a trial plan to import some less-expensive prescription medications from Canada and provide recommendations to pharmaceutical companies that are interested in importing drugs. It would be a test of whether these actions could control costs for consumers.

The proposal would authorize pilot projects by states, wholesalers or pharmacists and outline how they could import certain drugs from Canada that are consistent with approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Read the Full ArticleRead the FDA’s Plan


Major Prescription Drug Pricing Reform Bill Introduced

From U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, July 23: On July 23, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs. A markup for the legislation was held on July 25. Eight associations, including several that serve pharmacy and pharmacists (National Community Pharmacists Association; National Association of Chain Drug Stores; National Association of Specialty Pharmacy; American Pharmacists Association; Food Marketing Institute; National Grocers Association; National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations; and American Society of Consultant Pharmacists) issued a joint statement indicating initial bipartisan movement on direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fee reform, but reiterating the need for swift and decisive action on this issue.

In a statement, Grassley (who chairs the Senate Finance committee) and Wyden (the Finance committee’s ranking member) said, “We’ve been working on a bipartisan basis for more than six months to craft legislation that begins to address the broken prescription drug supply chain. Pharmaceutical companies play a vital role in creating new and innovative medicines that save and improve the quality of millions of American lives, but that doesn’t help Americans who can’t afford them.”

Read the Full Statement

The associations’ statement said, in part, “The simple description of this problem is that payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are gaming a Medicare regulation loophole, inflating patients' prescription-drug costs and forcing more pharmacies to close due to the egregious fees they impose and collect for their own profit.”

"As the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act and other legislation advance, it is critical to recall that DIR relief means closing the loophole that is over-charging seniors and Medicare and making it unsustainable for pharmacies. DIR relief is essential for any drug-pricing legislation."

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) found that DIR fees have exploded by 45,000 percent between 2010 and 2017. CMS also estimates that DIR fee reform would save beneficiaries $7.1 billion to $9.2 billion over ten years at the pharmacy counter, even when factoring in the debatable potential for slightly higher premiums.

Last month, the pharmacy organizations commended the approximately one-quarter of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives who wrote to President Trump on a bipartisan basis, urging action on DIR fee relief to lower patients' out-of-pocket drug costs.


Some Medications and Driving Don’t Mix

From U.S. FDA Consumer Update, July 18: Most medications won’t affect the patient’s ability to drive safely. But some do. If your patient is just starting on some types of pain relievers, medications for mental health conditions, muscle relaxants or sleeping pills — or even OTC cold and allergy medications — counsel them about possible side effects and interactions with other medications.

Read More


APMS Safety Tip

The Independent double-check system is a hallmark of safe design. Implement a system that requires two technicians to independently verify correct data entry before the label can be printed. Encourage the pharmacists to engage patients in their prescriptions. Encouraging patient counseling on high-alert medications and implementing procedures such as “open the bag” (review the contents of the bag with the patient at the point-of-sale) can help reduce risk. For more information, or to get your Medication Safety Program started, click here or contact the Alliance for Patient Medication Safety at (866)365-7472!


APhA’s Well-Being Assessment for Pharmacists

Have you ever wondered how your well-being compares to others? The Well-Being Index is a brief online self-assessment, invented by the Mayo Clinic and brought to you through a partnership with the American Pharmacists Association, that provides you immediate individualized feedback including tools and local and national resources to address your well-being. You can set up the frequency you wish to assess your well-being and track your progress.

Your information and score are private, and your individual score will not be shared with APhA (or anyone, for that matter). You do not have to be an APhA member to participate.
Take the survey now in a few easy steps:

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?

Read MoreRegister 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.

Read MoreRegister Now!


APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services Certificate Training Program

Friday, November 1 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. • 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. Certificate training program (3rd Edition) presents a systematic approach for developing, implementing, delivering, and sustaining MTM services. It includes an overview of the marketplace for delivering MTM services, guidance for implementing MTM services in pharmacy practice, a review of the essential skills and knowledge needed for performing MTM successfully, and an organized process for identifying medication-related problems. The purpose of this certificate training program is to prepare pharmacists to improve medication use through the delivery of MTM services in a variety of practice settings.

Our faculty members are Jordan Wolf, PharmD, Certified Geriatric Specialist, Consultant Pharmacist, Thrifty White Pharmacy, and Michelle A. Johnson, PharmD, BCACP, Pharmacist, 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
Coffee Sponsor: National Association of Chain Drug Stores
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

In this Issue

News from MPhA

Mission Moment

Easy Way to Support Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation

At the Capitol this Week:

Minnesota News

E-Cigs Banned in Most Indoor Workplaces

MDH Wins CDC Grant to Expand Program to Measure Children’s Chemical Exposures

Rural Northland Faces its Own Drug Crisis

National News

Trump Administration Proposal Would Allow Prescription Drug Imports from Canada

Major Prescription Drug Pricing Reform Bill Introduced

Some Medications and Driving Don’t Mix

APMS Safety Tip

APhA’s Well-Being Assessment for Pharmacists


Upcoming Events

MPhA Virtual Coffee Break Webinar: What’s Happened to Pharmacy Crime Since the Crackdown on Opioids?
August 21, 2019
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

APhA’s Pharmacy-based Immunization Delivery Certificate Training Program
September 29, 2019
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

APhA’s Delivering Medication Therapy Management Services Certificate Training Program
November 1. 2019
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

MPhA Annual Learning and Networking Event
October 3-4, 2019



Contact Us

Administrative Office
info@mpha.org

Executive Director
sarahd@mpha.org