Regardless of whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter, the ingredients on a drug product label typically include one, maybe two, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The rest of the list is comprised of “inactive” ingredients (excipients) which in reality are far from inactive. Variability may be acceptable for products such as printer ink and paintballs, but not pharmaceuticals, making quality standards for excipients critical to ensuring consistent drug quality.
USP was founded nearly 200 years ago by eleven doctors who wanted to ensure that the nation had access to quality medicines. They put together the first pharmacopeia, a book of recipes for making tinctures, extracts, and other medicines.
In conversations about the role of quality standards in public health, you might come across the words “compendia” and “compendial.” At USP, terms like “compendial approaches,” “compendial standards,” and “compendial tools” are part of our everyday vocabulary.
Discover convenient tools and helpful tips related to using USP Reference Standards in your work. USP Reference Standards are intended for quality control use in conducting assays and tests in USP’s documentary standards for drugs, dietary supplements, and foods.
Learn about USP’s comprehensive approaches for updating three high-priority excipient monographs—Guar Gum, Shellac, and Butylated Hydroxytoluene—the challenges encountered, and progress made implementing an initiative to develop up-to-date USP–NF excipient monographs.