Friday, February 22, 2013

Lessons Learned from a Rotation at MPhA

My time with MPhA has gone much much too rapidly. Here are some of the things I learned:

  • Quite a bit about organizational management, including all of the factors that have to be considered when making decisions, from financial to event planning.
  • How to improvise and always think one step ahead to keep events running smoothly.
  • How committee meetings at the Capitol are run, and how issues are explored and decisions made on the legislative level.
  • Just how busy our legislators really are!
  • Quite a bit about the legislative topics I got to research, including biosimilars and compounding.
  • Good ways to contact legislators and advance pharmacy interests, including how easy it is to call and set up a meeting. I especially appreciated a lot of the tips brought up by pharmacists and Rep. Kim Norton at Legislative Day about ways to keep in contact. Some of those tips included emailing (Rep. Norton said to include your zip code, and keep it short -- they don't need all the facts, and it's okay to  tell your legislator you follow the MPhA lobbyist and hope they listen to them for information) and attending town hall meetings.
  • Always keep thinking positively.
  • How to work with Ewald staff, including getting harassed a little ;).

Thank you so much to everyone I have worked with; I had a wonderful five weeks and I hope to continue staying involved with MPhA!

Brittany Karns
PharmD Class 2013
University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun

Update from the MPhA’s Student Desk
Hi, just checking in! I have been having a wonderful time here at MPhA, it is truly flying by. I feel like I completely lucked out on timing; getting to be here while the legislature is in session has provided me with a lot of really unique opportunities to see the capitol in motion, learn a lot about current policy topics (an interest area of mine!), and see how MPhA and other pharmacy organizations are involved in protecting and advancing our profession. Here are just a few of the really awesome things I have gotten to do so far:
·       Tour the Minnesota Capitol building (wow, beautiful!).
·       Attend a number of legislative committee meetings at the capitol, mostly on health and human services topics.
·       Develop the agenda and issue briefs for Legislative Day (Feb. 19) and discuss these with the UMN Students. Though we don’t have any bills in the senate, there are many awesome topics this year, including:
o   Pharmacy Practice Act changes: Speaking to our legislators about how the profession has changed, and recognizing pharmacists as patient care providers rather than medication dispensers.
o   Compounding: Reviewing the difference between compounding and manufacturing, where the boundaries are in Minnesota pharmacy practice, their importance relative to the NECC meningitis outbreak, and any change the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy may make to language.
o   Biosimilars: Reviewing what they are (essentially generic versions of biologic drugs, none are the market yet, but they are being presented to the FDA for testing and may hit the market soon), and issues to consider for future legislation regarding pharmacy substitution practices.
o   Pseudoephedrine reporting: Reviewing the pros and cons of the NPLEx system, an online reporting system with multiple states participating so that purchases can be tracked nationally.
o   Board of Pharmacy updates: Including changes in language for immunizing, electronic prescription records, and the prescription monitoring program.
·       Help with planning for and enjoy the MPhF Wine Tasting event!
·       Attend and serve on MPhA Board meetings, team meetings, steering committees, etc., as well as attend a Board of Pharmacy Meeting
·       Weigh in with the awesome MPhA/Ewald staff on pharmacy topics ranging from developing the magazine to communication items!
I’d like to say an extra big thank you to my preceptor Julie Johnson — and my adopted preceptors, Michelle Aytay and Jacquie Jaskowiak. I am learning so much from you and really enjoying working with you! Thank you also to the entire Ewald Consulting staff — you are all lovely and make me feel so welcome!
Much love,
Brittany Karns