building trust

U.S. Pharmacopeia:
Building trust for
200 years

US Pharmacopeia: Building trust for 200 years

The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) was formed in 1820 when 11 physicians came together to take action to protect patients from being harmed by the inconsistent and poor-quality medical preparations of the day. The first standards were "recipes" that guided the preparation of medicines, which were often made in apothecaries relying heavily on botanicals for their therapeutic benefit. As the practice of health and medicine evolved and the modern pharmaceutical industry emerged, USP standards changed from "recipes" to a set of quality specifications for medicines along with analytical tests to be performed to assess quality attributes.i It is this deep commitment to the quality of medicines and to protecting patients that helped build the public's trust and confidence in drug therapies, enabling people to live longer and healthier.

USP is an independent, scientific nonprofit organization—an important third party that is unbiased and not motivated by politics or profit. Scientific rigor is at the heart of USP's standards development process, which is transparent and inclusive of diverse global perspectives from government, academia, civil society and industry. Our standards are public and "open source" and are an important resource for making sure safe, quality medicines reach patients.

For the past 30 years, USP has helped build trust in generic medicines by establishing quality standards that help millions of Americans get greater access to the medicines they need. Today, 90% of all prescriptions are filled with generics, saving $1.67 trillion in just the past decadeii. USP standards have helped make medicines more available for patients to treat the world's most devastating diseases, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Breakthroughs and new innovations like digital therapeutics, gene editing, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, immunotherapy and cell therapies are changing treatments, and we must strive to ensure trust in their quality and the adoption of these new therapies.

As we continue to adapt, grow and evolve with science and medicine, our purpose remains the same—to build trust where it matters most in peoples' lives. Trust is an essential ingredient that gives patients, physicians and pharmacists confidence in the medicines that improve and save lives.

i  Anderson, Lee, and Gregory J. Higby. The Spirit of Volunteerism: A Legacy of Commitment and Contribution. The United States Pharmacopeia, 1995