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

Reference standards

British Pharmacopoeia chemical reference substances (BPCRS) are primary standards. We establish these using absolute methods and the declared content figures are determined without comparing to another substance:
You should use BPCRS to perform the tests in the British Pharmacopoeia (BP) or BP (Veterinary). Do not eat BPCRS or feed them to animals – you should only use BPCRS for chemical analysis. They are not suitable for any other use.
BPCRS are supplied in unit packs containing enough material to carry out the test procedures. BPCRS are tested in our laboratory to make sure they are suitable for their use.