Our Story

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Founders Ed Mansfield & Conrad Thompson, 1975

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Founders Ed Mansfield & Conrad Thompson, 2010

"It was suggested by several dermatologists that we start a company to make better products than were commercially available for people with sensitive skin."
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From the founders Conrad Thompson and Ed Mansfield (2010)

In 1974 we were both pharmacists working in a local hospital. Neither of us had any thoughts of starting a manufacturing company. However, at that time we worked closely with dermatologists and understood the needs of their patients. Because of our extensive experience formulating products, it was suggested by several dermatologists that we start a company to make better products than were commercially available for people with sensitive skin. We investigated this idea and formed Pharmaceutical Specialties, Inc. (PSI) in 1975.

We developed PSI while continuing to work full-time at the hospital. Space was rented in a small building and a few part-time assistants were employed. As word spread about our products, business increased and we moved several times to larger facilities to accommodate our growth. We both retired from the hospital in the mid ‘90s to manage PSI on a full-time basis. Brian Leary and Rick Sandwick joined Conrad Thompson and Ed Mansfield (co-founders) as partners in January 2005.

Early on, we made decisions regarding our operating principles. We wanted to avoid chemicals that dermatologists considered undesirable and could be irritating or sensitizing to the skin, such as fragrance, masking fragrance, dyes, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasing preservatives. We wanted to use the highest quality ingredients that would conform to this principle. Even though most of our products were, and are, considered cosmetics by the FDA, we chose to manufacture to drug quality standards. This meant meeting or exceeding the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations. Our marketing focus would be to dermatologists and allergists and our distribution primarily through pharmacies, and later, selected medical supply providers. We wanted to provide high quality products at a competitive price which offer good value to consumers. In communicating with physicians and the public, we wanted to be conservative with claims and not use misleading and meaningless terms such as “hypo-allergenic” and “natural.”

Initially, we distributed products mainly in the upper Midwest. Today we distribute throughout the USA and internationally.

We are regularly inspected by the FDA and licensed by the Minnesota State Board of Pharmacy as a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Throughout the evolution of PSI, we have been extremely fortunate in obtaining and keeping employees who are dedicated, have great knowledge and skill, ambition, honesty, talent and loyalty. We consider the employees our “PSI family.”

We are grateful for the support and loyalty we receive from physicians and pharmacists that recommend our products and the patients who benefit from them.

It is our intention to continue to manufacture and develop new products in the same manner that we have in the past 35 years.

Thank you for your interest in the products we manufacture.