MPhA News

Small Doses

August 16, 2019

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

Help MDH with Your Input on a Connected HIE

The Minnesota Department of Health continues to collect public input to help advance a Connected Networks Approach for Health Information Exchange in Minnesota. Responses are due by Aug. 28. Send your responses to by August 28, 2019.

Background: Minnesota is at a crossroads in efforts to ensure that essential health information is exchanged appropriately, securely, efficiently and effectively to meet current and future health care needs and goals. A successful connected networks approach will ensure that existing and evolving Health Information Exchange (HIE) are coordinated and aligned to meet current and future needs.

COP Research Measures How CBD Is Affected by Food Intake

Angela Birnbaum, PhD, FAES, and Ilo Leppik, MD, are the authors of a study published in Epilepsia that examined whether eating high-fat foods after taking CBD increased the body’s absorption of CBD. The research group measured CBD concentrations in epilepsy patients at the MINCEP Epilepsy Care clinic who were taking 99 percent pure CBD capsules.

“The type of food can make a large difference in the amount of CBD that gets absorbed into the body,” said MPhA member Birnbaum, who is a professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. “Although fatty foods can increase the absorption of CBD, it can also increase the variability as not all meals contain the same amount of fat.

“For epilepsy patients, a goal is to maintain consistent blood concentrations of drug,” Birnbaum said. “Variability in blood concentrations could leave a patient more susceptible to seizures.”

Read the Full News Release

At the Capitol this Week:

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.


Minnesota News

Gov. Walz Appoints New DHS Commissioner

From news reports: Gov. Tim Walz has appointed Jodi Harpstead as the new commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Harpstead previously served as CEO at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and leader of management operations at Children’s Home Society of Minnesota. She is expected to begin in her new role on Sept. 3. In a statement, Harpstead said, “I am eager to see how my private sector skills can be useful in working with the dedicated people of the Department of Human Services to support people living full lives in communities across Minnesota." Read the news release from the governor’s office.

MDH Will Address Antibiotic Resistance at State Fair

From Minnesota Department of Health: The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will participate in an Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative booth at the Minnesota State Fair this month. The booth will provide information about antibiotic resistance to consumers. In addition to MDH, other participating organizations include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center. Get more information about the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative.

COP Pre-game Reception at Gophers Football

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is bringing back its pre-game receptions prior to Gophers football home games. All students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college are welcome. The first reception is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29, from 5 to 8 p.m., at McNamara Alumni Center. Refreshments are provided.

Learn More

National News

NABP Sounds Alarm on Drug Importation Plans

From Consumer Reports, August 7: To help Americans save money on prescriptions, the Trump Administration has announced a plan to import some less-expensive prescription medications from Canada. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) says that buying drugs online from outside the U.S. can be risky.

NABP tracks online pharmacy websites. Of more than 11,000 websites reviewed, 95 percent operate outside of U.S. state and federal laws — meaning that most did not require prescriptions or were selling drugs not approved in the U.S. In a recent review of more than 100 online pharmacies that claim to be shipping drugs from Canada, NABP found that most appear to actually source drugs from countries known to sell counterfeit or adulterated drugs.

Read the Full Article

Related article from The Partnership for Safe Medicines.

IACP Launches New Resource on Compounding Law

From International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists Email, Aug. 7: The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists (IACP), in collaboration with the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA), has launched a new comprehensive, state-by-state resource on compounding laws and regulations related to office use and veterinary compounding.

The resource provides information regarding which states allow office use compounding and veterinary office use compounding; special provisions prohibitions or requirements where office use compounding is permissible; applicable law and rule text; and links to state websites where compounding laws and regulations may be found. The resource is for IACP members only and may be accessed at You'll need your login and password.

Participate in National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of pharmacists to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.

During NIAM, the Minnesota Pharmacists Association encourages you to ensure your patients are up to date on recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that health care professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.

Use NIAM as an opportunity to access CDC educational resources like the #HowIRecommend Video Series, which offers simple and practical guidance for having successful vaccine conversations with parents and patients. These short videos demonstrate how to make effective vaccine recommendations, address common vaccine questions, and take a team-based approach to vaccination.

On Time

Are you participating in NIAM? If so, send photos and information to Staff Editor Laurie Pumper, tag us on Instagram or mention @minnpharmassoc on Twitter. We may share your information in Small Doses or on social media!

Experts Seek Proof of Concept for FDA Opioid Packaging Proposal

From Pharmacy Today, a publication of the American Pharmacists Association, Aug. 12: Some commenters on FDA's proposal for fixed-quantity unit-of-use blister packaging for certain opioids recommended that the agency review the proposal's effectiveness in reducing opioid abuse and potential consequences before implementing it. The proposal aims to encourage more appropriate prescribing and reduce the number of unused opioids available for misuse or abuse.

During the comment period on the proposal, organizations including APhA, the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) made recommendations suggesting that FDA study the proposal's effectiveness in curtailing opioid abuse, as well as its potential consequences, before implementing new requirements on application holders. "Packaging that is excessively costly or available through a small subset of distributors would also pose a challenge for pharmacies in obtaining such products," APhA wrote. APhA suggested that FDA identify different packaging designs, engage in user testing, and pilot potential iterations of Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy requirements and implementation structures.

MPhA Events

Register Now: MPhA Annual Learning Networking Event and MTM Symposium

October 3-4 • Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Brooklyn Park


We are pleased to present the agenda and speakers for this unique event as we bring together pharmacists, pharmacist students, pharmacy technicians, public health professionals and industry thought leaders for two days of cutting-edge programming and networking. Among the sessions and speakers:

  • Interpreting Culture Results: Common Pitfalls and Clinical Pearls, Krista Gens, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, DPLA
  • Reaching to Thrive: Moving Beyond Survival Mode, Stephanie Swanson, PharmD
  • Reimbursement Challenges: Strategies and Updates, Jason Miller, PharmD; Jeff Lindoo, BS Pharm; Buck Humphrey; Chad Hope, PharmD
  • Pharmacy’s Role in Treatment and Overall Care Management of Atopic Dermatitis, Tom Larson, PharmD
  • Where’s the Interface with Public Health and Pharmacists’ Engagement in the Opioid and Substance Use Epidemic (Keynote Session), Brent Thompson, PharmD; Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT

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. • AstraZeneca Diabetes • Lilly USA, LLC • Merck Vaccines
Exhibitors: Abbvie • Allergan • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals • McKesson • Minnesota Board of Pharmacy • Minnesota Department of Health • Minnesota Pharmacy Student Alliance • Pharmacists Mutual • SpartanNash • Tabula Rasa Healthcare

Sponsorship opportunities are going quickly — don’t miss out!

Register Now

Coming Next Week! 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!

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

October 8 • MPhA Town Hall • St. Cloud

October 10 • MPhA Town Hall • Duluth

October 15 • MPhA Town Hall • Alexandria

October 22 • MPhA Town Hall • Rochester

November 7 • MPhA Town Hall • Grand Rapids

February 20, 2020 • Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day • Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul

In this Issue

News from MPhA

Mission Moments

At the Capitol this Week

Minnesota News

Gov. Walz Appoints New DHS Commissioner

MDH Will Address Antibiotic Resistance at State Fair

COP Pre-game Reception at Gophers Football

National News

NABP Sounds Alarm on Drug Importation Plans

IACP Launches New Resource on Compounding Law

Participate in National Immunization Awareness Month

Experts Seek Proof of Concept for FDA Opioid Packaging Proposal

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

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Executive Director