About USP

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide. USP’s drug standards are enforceable in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration, and these standards are used in more than 140 countries.

Since its founding in 1820, USP has helped secure the quality of the American drug supply. Building on that legacy, USP today works with scientists, practitioners, and regulators of many nations to develop and revise standards that help protect public health worldwide.

What, exactly, is a pharmacopeia?  Watch this video to find out.

What is a pharmacopeia

Our Mission

To improve global health through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods.

Our Vision

USP envisions a world in which all have access to high quality, safe, and beneficial medicines and foods. USP approaches this vision with a sense of urgency and purpose, strengthened by its cadre of dedicated expert volunteers, members, and staff, and by working collaboratively with key stakeholders across the globe.


USP's volunteer Convention members meet once every five years to discuss, vote upon, and adopt a set of resolutions that further USP's mission by defining specific focus areas for the next five-year period. View our 2015–2020 Resolutions..

Our Impact

USP was created in 1820 by a group of 11 physicians who recognized an essential need for a national lexicon of drug names and formulas in the United States. At the time, the marketplace for drugs and medicinals was chaotic: there was little assurance of consistency or quality regarding the medicines that patients were taking. The first edition of the USP featured the best drugs and preparations and defined terminology that facilitated communication between the physicians who prescribed and administered medicines and the pharmacists who prepared them.

Since this time, USP's focus on quality has expanded to new areas of medicine, pharmacy, patient care, dietary supplements, and foods. And, our reach has extended beyond U.S. borders to countries around the world.

View our Quality Policy and ISO Certifications and Accreditations