pharmacopoeia or pharmocopeia (färˌməkəpēˈə) [key], authoritative publication designating the properties, action, use, dosage, and standards of strength and purity of drugs. It is compiled under the supervision of professional, usually governmental, authority, and all manufacture and dispensation of drugs and medications are required to conform to it. The first work of this kind, the Nuremburg Pharmacopoeia, was published in Germany in 1546. Similar volumes appeared from time to time in other cities, but there was a wide variation and the need became apparent to standardize such publications under national direction. The first pharmacopoeia published in the United States was compiled for army use and appeared in Philadelphia in 1778. The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) was first published in 1820 following a convention of medical societies in Washington, D.C. This compendium became the legal standard in 1906 by enactment of the Food and Drug Act. The USP is brought up to date periodically by a committee of the U.S. Pharmacopoeial Convention; supplements are published as needed. Other nations have similar standardized pharmacopoeias.
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