The British Pharmacopoeia Website

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

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Welcome to the website of the British Pharmacopoeia.

Since 1864, the British Pharmacopoeia (BP) has been providing authoritative official standards for pharmaceutical substances and medicinal products. It makes an important contribution to the role of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in protecting public health by setting publicly available standards for the quality of medicines.

In addition to expanding the numbers of monographs for licensed formulated products, it supports the regulatory work in the fields of herbal and complementary medicines by providing new monographs for traditional herbal medicinal products and for homoeopathic stocks and mother tinctures. The BP has also begun to improve the control of the quality of unlicensed medicines by providing standards for extensively used unlicensed formulations together with further legal and ethical guidance on the preparation and supply of these products. 

The British Pharmacopoeia maintains close ties with the work of the European Pharmacopoeia and continues to play a significant role in the standard-setting process in Europe, participating in the activities of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare, and influencing the decisions of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission through the United Kingdom Delegation. The texts and monographs of the European Pharmacopoeia form an integral part of the BP.

Annually updated, the British Pharmacopoeia is the only comprehensive collection of standards for UK medicinal substances. It is essential for all individuals and organisations involved in pharmaceutical research, development, manufacture, quality control and analysis.

Since its first publication the distribution of the British Pharmacopoeia has grown throughout the world. Now used in approaching 100 countries with exposure in most continents of the world, the BP is setting the standard for pharmaceutical compliance across the globe. Australia and Canada are just two of the countries that have adopted the BP as their national standard alongside the UK.

The current 2015 edition of the BP can be purchased from The Stationery Office (TSO) (external link) and is available in a number of print and electronic formats (The BP 2015 came into effect on the 1st January 2015).