In celebration of National Volunteer Week, USP is proud to recognize and honor the more than 640 volunteers who serve on USP’s standards-setting and advisory bodies—the USP Council of Expert, Expert Committees and Expert Panels. These dedicated individuals help USP fulfill its mission to improve global health by readily sharing their knowledge in the continuous revision of USP’s public standards that help ensure the quality of medicines, dietary supplements and foods.
Who Are USP Volunteers and What Do They Do?
USP volunteers are leaders in industry, academia, medical practice, government, scientific consulting, and other professional sectors from more than 33 countries. In addition to their “day jobs,” they donate their expertise and time to USP —typically 3 to 4 hours each week—to evaluate new scientific evidence, public health issues and public requests related to the revision of USP standards. They are the key people behind USP’s standards and they serve on the following bodies:
- Council of Experts: Elected by the USP Convention membership, the Council of Experts oversees USP’s standards-setting process. Each member of the Council serves as the chair of an Expert Committee for a five-year term. The Council elects the members of each committee.
- Expert Committees: Currently there are 24 Expert Committees, each focused on developing and revising standards in different subject matter areas (e.g., chemical medicines, biologics, food ingredients and dietary supplements). Committee members publish proposed standards for public comment, review the comments, revise the proposal as needed and then adopt the standard by a majority vote. This is an ongoing effort as USP standards are always considered to be in a state of continuous revision.
- Expert Panels: When additional expertise is needed on a topic, USP will solicit volunteers to serve on Expert Panels. Each panel has a specific charge and continues until that charge is fulfilled. Expert Panels advise and inform the Expert Committee; they are not decision-making bodies.
Why Do They Do It?
USP volunteers are passionate about quality and how public standards can positively benefit populations around the world. They are eager and willing to share objective viewpoints, debate and make decisions related to the topics and issues they know best. They know their work with USP can and will make a difference to global public health.
2015 USP Volunteer Awardees(L to R) Dr. Antonio Hernandez-Cardoso, Senior Scientific Liaison, Dr. Ron Piervincenzi, CEO, Dr. Jaap Venema, Chair, Council of Experts, Dr. Teri Soli, Chair, Combined Pharmaceutical Waters Expert Panel, Dr. David Fay, Chair, Acetaminophen Expert Panel, Dr. Clydewyn Anthony, Senior Scientific Liaison.
Just take a look at our 2015 Volunteer Award Winners (panel chairs pictured above). Each year, colleagues nominate USP volunteers who best exemplify USP’s mission. The 2010-2015 Acetaminophen Expert Panel was recognized for its innovative response to handling a public health challenge. They created a new general chapter to monitior4-Aminiophenol, a known toxic degradant, in all acetaminophen-containing formulations and developed new analytical procedures to identify and quantify organic impurities. Similarly, the 2010-2015 Combined Pharmaceutical Waters Expert Panel was honored for its forward-looking approach to revising and harmonizing the many monographs, general chapters and General Notices that touch on water for pharmaceutical use.
How Can You Become a Volunteer?
The need for new and revised standards evolves with advancements in science, technology and patient care. USP’s need for experts mirrors these changes. While our Council of Experts and Expert Committees are typically appointed during USP’s Convention meeting which is held every five years, USP creates Expert Panels and fills vacancies as new needs arise.
Looking ahead, we are beginning to recruit and cultivate the next generation of USP volunteers. New opportunities are posted on our Call for Candidates website. Individuals interested in volunteering are invited to apply for open positions as well as create a profile to be considered for future opportunities. To learn more, visit our site and related frequently asked questions, or contact us at USPVolunteers@usp.org.
Thank you again to all of our current and past USP volunteers. Your service has made and continues to make an invaluable and lasting impact on global public health!