The British Pharmacopoeia

The BP makes an important contribution to the role of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in protecting public health by providing quality standards for UK pharmaceutical substances and medicinal products.

The BP has a wide international reach and:

  • is used in over 100 countries
  • forms an inherent part of established medicines legislation in Commonwealth countries
  • provides expert advice to the European Pharmacopoeia and plays a significant role in the standard-setting process in Europe
  • provides expert advice to the World Health Organization
  • has strong links with leading world pharmacopoeias, ensuring the quality of medicines is always at the forefront of international discussions

Buy the latest edition of the BP.

The BP has been providing official standards for medicines since 1864. The legal status of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and of the British Pharmacopoeia was established under the 1968 Medicines Act. This Act has been superseded by the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

Information for users of the British Pharmacopoeia during the Transition Period (01 February – 31 December 2020)

Now the UK has left the EU, we would like to reiterate that the UK was a founding member of the Convention on the Elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia and will continue to be a member of the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur), as the UK will continue to be a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) in its own right.

The British Pharmacopoeia (BP) continues to reproduce Ph.Eur’s text for the convenience of our customers.

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

The current rules on trade and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period. This means you can operate as now throughout this period.

New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.

For any questions please continue to contact our helpdesk at