To help illustrate the true threat of counterfeit and substandard medicines, and demonstrate why USP and so many other organizations are working to improve drug quality, we offer this first-hand story about two near-fatal encounters with bad drugs.
Few people understand the meaning or function of a pharmacopeia, but it plays an important role in safeguarding public health. The idea of documenting medicines dates back centuries, and continues today, helping to promote the safety, quality and benefit of thousands of pharmaceutical products around the world.
What are your chances of getting a fake medicine? 1 in 100? 1 in 10? Or 1 in 2? You may or may not think much about fake medicines, but the fact is they exist in practically every corner of the globe. The good news is that we can fight fake medicines together, through public awareness and communication sharing.
Almost 200 years ago, 11 physicians recognized an essential need for consistency and quality regarding medicines and came together to create the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Since then, USP's focus on quality has expanded to new areas in medicine, pharmacy, dietary supplements, and foods. From quality-related science and research, to field work and consumer tips, our hope is to address a universe of issues – all linked together by a common theme, that the quality of these items has a profound impact on our lives.