Public health in focus at international conference

January 26, 2010

Rockville, Md., January 26, 2010 -- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) will convene a meeting of its member organizations on April 21󈞄 in Washington, D.C. Member delegates and experts from around the world will gather to discuss pressing global and domestic public health issues. Known for its large and distinguished international roster of scientific and regulatory experts, USP member delegates representing more than 400 member organizations meet every five years to set strategic direction. Adopting the theme "Advancing Health through Public Standards," the Convention will address a wide range of topics, from the quality of manufactured medicines to improving access to quality medicines in the developing world. The scope of USP's activities is reflected in a series of white papers developed to provide a basis for discussion at the Convention. Among the eminent speakers addressing the Convention is Peter Agre, Ph.D., winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry and who now directs the Johns Hopkins' Malaria Research Institute.

USP is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for the quality, purity, strength and identity of medicines, food ingredients and dietary supplements. USP standards for drug quality are recognized in law in the United States, and all three types of standards are used and relied upon in more than 130 countries.

According to René Bravo, M.D., president of the USP Convention, "The Convention is the only vehicle where all the different entities come together under one roof--schools of pharmacy, schools of medicine, professional associations, industry associations, government, patient and consumer organizations--to discuss the issues of quality of health care and the quality of pharmaceuticals." (Visit http://www.youtube.com/uspharmacopeia#p/c/3EE1B09C2883E6A2/0/-3eqOXGMyhw to hear more from Dr. Bravo.)

One significant new addition to the 2010 Convention will be the inclusion of many international observers, underscoring the extent to which the drug and food industries--and USP itself--have become truly global. Duane Kirking, Ph.D., chair of USP's Board of Trustees, commented, "The largest impact on USP [in the past five years] has been the internationalization of drugs... not only in their manufacture but in research and development. [This] has resulted in the need to ensure consistent quality standards worldwide." (Visit http://www.youtube.com/uspharmacopeia#p/c/3EE1B09C2883E6A2/1/mD6AtysBl-A to hear more from Dr. Kirking.) While observers are not voting members of the Convention, they contribute to policy discussions and reflect USP's commitment to seek the perspectives of all those affected by its standards.

In other Convention activities, a new Board of Trustees will be elected, as will a new Council of Experts--the chairs of the volunteer Expert Committees who, in conjunction with USP staff, create and revise USP standards. Resolutions will be debated and adopted, and important changes to USP bylaws are anticipated. To learn more about the Convention or to register, go to http://www.usp.org/meetings/convention/.
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For more information, please contact mediarelations@usp.org.



USP--Advancing Public Health Since 1820

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific, nonprofit, standards-setting organization that advances public health through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP's standards are recognized and used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

US Pharmacopeia

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