The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for quality, purity, identity, and strength of drugs, biologicals, food ingredients, and human dietary supplements. USP's drug standards are enforceable in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and these standards are used and relied upon in more than 130 countries. USP drug standards (for naming/identity, strength, quality, and purity, as well as packaging and storage), are enforced by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. USP is dedicated to promoting public health worldwide. Its written documentary standards, physical reference standards, verification programs, professional education courses, and other initiatives work to provide good pharmaceutical care for animals and people and protect the public from unsafe or substandard medicines, human dietary supplements, and food ingredients. USP has laboratories in Rockville, MD (headquarters), India, China, Brazil, and Switzerland (office only) and has more than 500 employees worldwide.
The USP is composed of approximately 500 organizational voting members representing: academic institutions and associations; health professional and scientific associations (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine); manufacturing and trade associations; patient and consumer organizations; non-governmental standards and conformity assessment bodies; and governmental agencies. These USP Members appoint delegates who have the responsibility to fully understand USP's mission, vision, strategic plan and activities in order to fully execute their governance authority.
The USP operates in 5 year cycles and at the end of each cycle, a USP Membership meeting is held in Washington, DC and is open to delegates (voting members), non-delegates and observers (non-voting members). The Council of Convention (CoC), one of four committees of the USP, has the broadest authority and is responsible for recommending new members, inviting observers, proposing resolutions and advising USP staff on member engagement. Veterinarians are presently serving on the CoC as well as on volunteer Expert Committees.
The AVMA encourages expansion of veterinary membership to the USP. Current animal health-oriented organizational members include:
The AVMA encourages non-delegates from each veterinary school to attend USP Membership meetings. A strong contingent from veterinary educational establishments in the US would be an important benefit in helping to ensure input into USP functions affecting veterinary medicine.
The AVMA encourages the USP to incorporate veterinarians on additional committees as appropriate.