What is the BP?

The two pharmacopoeias that have legal status within the UK are the British Pharmacopoeia (BP), including the BP (Veterinary), and the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.). The BP provides the only comprehensive collection of authoritative official standards for UK pharmaceutical substances and medicinal products and:

BP 2018
  • is published every year in August
  • becomes effective on 1 January of the following year
  • incorporates all the monographs and texts of the Ph. Eur.

The BP is a vital reference tool for all individuals and organisations involved in pharmaceutical:

  • research
  • development
  • manufacture
  • quality control and analysis

What does the BP contain?

The BP includes:

  • general notices (providing general information applicable to all texts)
  • general monographs (apply to all dosage forms)
  • specific monographs providing mandatory standards for:
    • active pharmaceutical ingredients
    • excipients
    • formulated preparations (licensed and unlicensed products)
    • herbal drugs, herbal drug products and herbal medicinal products
    • materials for use in the manufacture of homoeopathic preparations
    • blood-related products
    • immunological products
    • radiopharmaceutical preparations
  • infrared reference spectra
  • appendices
  • supplementary chapters (providing additional guidance)
  • comprehensive index

British Pharmacopoeia (Veterinary)

The BP (Veterinary) is published as a companion volume to the British Pharmacopoeia. It contains standards for substances and products used solely in the practice of veterinary medicine in the UK.

The BP (Vet) also incorporates monographs and texts of the European Pharmacopoeia.

European Pharmacopoeia

The Ph. Eur. is published by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare.

The European Pharmacopoeia Commission is responsible for the publication of the Ph. Eur. The UK is a member of the EP Commission and is involved at all stages of Ph. Eur. monograph development.