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TheStreet Open House

Mission Pharmacal Launches Dedicated Sales Force





SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Urocit®-K (extended release potassium citrate), the proven urological treatment that blazed a trail into space to help NASA astronauts combat kidney stones, has begun a new journey here on Earth.

With the Urocit-K flagship leading the way, Mission Pharmacal Company has launched a new sales force to better deliver its entire fleet of urology medicines into the hands of physicians nationwide.

Together with Urocit-K, Lithostat® (acetohydroxamic acid) and Thiola® (tiopronin) offer relief to people suffering from several types of kidney stones. A fourth Mission urology drug, Uribel®, (methenamine, sodium phosphate monobasic, phenyl salicylate, methylene blue, hyoscyamine sulfate) treats urinary tract infections. These drugs, considered among the leaders in their class, represent a sizable percentage of Mission's overall sales.

Brian Card, Executive Director of Women's Health and Urology sales for Mission Pharmacal, said this new sales force is equipped to capitalize on the company's 30 years of pioneering experience in the field of kidney stone disease therapy.

"This expansion gives us an opportunity to re-establish our dedication to the field of urology," Card said. "Mission has led the way in the treatment of kidney stones and actually pioneered the tests that are still used today to diagnose kidney stone etiology."

Based in San Antonio, Mission Pharmacal at one time had a specialty sales team dedicated to urology products. In recent years, though, one team promoted both women's health products and urological products.

This summer, Mission split that sales force, hired additional sales reps and dedicated about 30 sales representatives to urology products alone. The new teams will cover the country's major markets, Card said.

The sales representatives are employed by Alamo Pharma Services, a subsidiary that Mission Pharmacal founded in 2011. Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., Alamo provides small- and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies with operational and human resources sales support. Alamo also will be handling the non-personal promotional efforts with teledetailing through its call center in Colorado.

Both the new urological sales force and the health care professionals they service will benefit from the refined focus on Mission's urology product lineup, according to Dan Crawford, Marketing Director of the Urology Division at Mission Pharmacal.

"We felt there was a need to go back and create a specialized sales force, to train them as experts in the urology area," said Crawford. "Our mantra is educate, educate, educate. We're known as 'the stone company' in this field. There isn't another company in the United States that is as involved in treating stone disease as we are, and that is something we are very proud of."

Mission Pharmacal's groundbreaking work on the diagnosis and treatment of kidney stone disease originated with the company's executive, Neill Walsdorf, Sr., son of company founder Wally Walsdorf and father of current president Neill Walsdorf, Jr.

In the early 1980s, as Neill Sr. began to suffer from kidney stone disease himself, he discovered quickly that very few treatment options were available. Under his direction, Mission Pharmacal began to work with Dr. Charles Pak, a world-renowned researcher of kidney stone disease, to develop therapies for this underserved class of patients. The research center they founded at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas has since emerged as the world's preeminent facility in the treatment of urolithiasis, or kidney stone disease.

That research then got a boost from the federal government. The Orphan Drug Act of 1983 reduced regulations on companies developing drugs for "orphan" diseases, which typically afflict too few patients to interest most pharmaceutical companies. The act also gives orphan drug makers seven years of exclusive rights to their creation and a tax credit for the cost of clinical trials.

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