MPhA News

Small Doses

December 20, 2019

News from MPhA

Mission Moments:

MPhA Provides Testimony at Insulin Workgroup

On Dec. 18, MPhA Executive Director Sarah Derr and MPhA Public Affairs Committee co-chair Jeff Lindoo testified before the Minnesota Legislature’s Insulin Working Group (WG) meeting. The WG is made up of three senators and three representatives and is chaired by Rep. Michael Howard (DFL) and Senator Eric Pratt (R). The Legislature has been trying since the 2019 legislative session to help patients be able to afford their insulin. There was no agreement during last session on how to solve the affordability problem for a subset of patients who use insulin.

Several legislators worked over the summer and into the fall to craft a legislative solution. Gov. Walz has said he would call a special session for this single issue if there is an agreed-upon solution. In November, legislative leadership formed the WG and appointed its members.

The WG is discussing both an emergency and a long-term insulin patient assistance program. The program would be set up to resolve the issue of patients being unable to afford their insulin medication. Derr and Lindoo spoke about the importance of keeping the dispensing of medications in the pharmacy rather than at the clinic, as is envisioned in the Senate’s long-term program language. Lindoo spoke about the systems that pharmacies have set up and why pharmacists are best positioned to dispense insulin. Several patients focused their testimony during the public commentary portion of the meeting on the importance of keeping dispensing in the pharmacy.


MPhA Member Takes on Role of Department Head, Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Dean Lynda Welage has announced that MPhA member Amy Pittenger, PharmD, MS, PhD, has accepted the position of Department Head of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems (PCHS), effective Jan. 21, 2020. Read more about Amy and her new appointment.


Happy Holidays from MPhA

The staff at the Minnesota Pharmacists Association wish you a joyous and peaceful Holiday season filled with the people you love! The MPhA office will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 as well as on Jan. 1 to allow our staff to celebrate. Many staff members are taking some extra time off during the next two weeks, but we will have people in the office to answer questions except as noted. We are taking a break from Small Doses for Dec. 27, but will return on Jan. 3.

APMS

Minnesota News

Commerce Department Asks for Feedback on 62-W

The Minnesota Commerce Department has requested comments on the new 62-W Pharmacy Benefit Managers. MPhA has submitted comments. MPhA encourages all of our members to submit comments. All comments are to be sent to:

Andrew Kleinendorst
Minnesota Department of Commerce – Insurance Division
85 7th Place East, Suite 280, Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 539-1734
PBM.Licensing@state.mn.us

Get more information and read the legislative language


Flu Outbreak Is Hitting Children Especially Hard

From a news report on WCCO-TV, Dec. 16: During the week of Dec. 9, there were 13 new flu outbreaks in Minnesota schools, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). MDH reports that influenza B is most common right now.

“It’s unusual,” said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases at MDH. “We typically see influenza A as the peak strain.”
In an average year, type A is more common in the early part of flu season, while type B peaks in February or March. Ehresmann stressed that it is not too late to get a flu shot. Read/watch the full story.

Nationwide, at least 1,300 people have died from influenza, including 10 children.

National News

PQA Needs Volunteers to Develop New Pharmacy Performance Measures

The Pharmacy Quality Alliance is requesting self-nominations from members for three new groups to support the development of new pharmacy performance measures:
Pharmacy Measure Concept Advisory Group (focus area: pharmacy measures)
Pharmacy Measures Technical Expert Panel (focus area: medication management services/pharmacy)
Data and Interoperability Advisory Group (focus area: pharmacy measures)

The deadline to self-nominate for each of these groups is Friday, January 3, 2020.


Trump Administration Takes Steps to Lower U.S. Prescription Drug Prices

From U.S. Food & Drug Administration website, Dec. 18: President Trump, along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that, if finalized, would allow for the importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada.

In addition, the Administration announced the availability of a new draft guidance for industry that describes procedures drug manufacturers can follow to facilitate importation of prescription drugs, including biological products, that are FDA-approved, manufactured abroad, authorized for sale in any foreign country, and originally intended for sale in that foreign country. Read the full news release.


Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Proposed Regulations to Import Prescription Medicines

From Partnership for Safe Medicines email, Dec. 18: The executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines issued a statement in response to the announcement by the Trump Administration of a proposal to allow importation of prescription medicines. Executive Director Shabbir Safdar said, “Citizens of the United States and Canada should be outraged that the Trump Administration has prioritized politics over their own health and safety. There’s only one logical explanation why the Administration chose this week to greenlight a flawed and dangerous policy that Republican and Democratic Administrations alike have rejected — political distraction. The process has been mishandled from day one, which stands in stark contrast to the time and effort that other administrations have put into this issue.” Read the full announcement.


A Sign of Hope on DIR Reform

From APhA website, Dec. 17: APhA Executive Vice President and CEO Thomas Menighan says that despite major disappointments in the fight to end DIR (Direct and Indirect Remuneration) fees, hard work from pharmacy organizations appears to be paying off. “We recently got news that DIR fee reform would be included in an updates version of the bipartisan S. 2543, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act.”

Menighan continues, “The new language would require price concessions to be included in the negotiated price at point of sale under Medicare Part D starting January 1, 2022. Our continued focus on the issue has resulted in bipartisan bill language.” Read the full blog post.

MPhA Events

Midwest Pharmacy Expo

February 7-9, 2020 • Hilton Des Moines Downtown, Des Moines, Iowa

The Midwest Pharmacy Expo agenda and registration are now live! This year’s agenda will feature clinically intensive workshops on Friday, a keynote by Ryan Jenkins on addressing strategies to connect and engage a multi-generational team, and four CPE tracks on Saturday — Innovative Practice, Challenging Cases, Nutrition/Wellness, and Professional Roles & Skills track.

In a Midwest Pharmacy Expo first, pharmacy technicians will be fully integrated with pharmacists during Saturday’s CPE breakout sessions with a slate of dually accredited sessions. Learn, connect and be inspired with your pharmacist and pharmacy technician peers while earning 10 hours of CPE together over two days.

Sunday will feature the ever-popular Game Changers presentation, where Geoffrey Wall will share a lively update on what has happened in pharmacy in the past year. This, plus all of the networking opportunities throughout the weekend. Get all the information and register now!

Save the Date: Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day

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

Are you ready to make a difference to advocate for your professional interests and for pharmacy’s interests to advance patient care? Come to Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day and learn how! Even if you have never talked with, called or written your legislators before, this event will give you the tools you need to do so!

Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day is the one annual event that represents the voice of all pharmacy settings in Minnesota for legislators, the governor and other policy makers!

Register for a Sponsorship now!

Save the Dates: MPhA Events

January 16-18, 2020Pharmaceutical Care Lyceum • Deep Portage Learning Center, Hackensack
February 28, 2020 • Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation Wine Dinner • Lilydale Yacht Club, Lilydale

Other Events of Interest

March 19-21, 2020 APhA Annual Meeting • National Harbor, MD

In this Issue

Mission Moments

MPhA Provides Testimony at Insulin Workgroup

MPhA Member Takes on Role of Department Head, Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems

Happy Holidays from MPhA

Minnesota News

Commerce Department Asks for Feedback on 62-W

Flu Outbreak Is Hitting Children Especially Hard

National News

PQA Needs Volunteers to Develop New Pharmacy Performance Measures

Trump Administration Takes Steps to Lower U.S. Prescription Drug Prices

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Proposed Regulations to Import Prescription Medicines

A Sign of Hope on DIR Reform


Midwest Pharmacy Expo

Upcoming MPhA Events


Contact Us

Administrative Office
info@mpha.org

Executive Director
sarahd@mpha.org