Essential medicines and health products

The International Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Int.)

The International Pharmacopoeia (Ph.Int.)

The International Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Int.) is published by WHO with the aim to achieve a wide global harmonization of quality specifications for selected pharmaceutical products, excipients and dosage forms. The activities related to Ph.Int. are an essential element in overall quality control and assurance of pharmaceuticals contributing to the safety and efficacy of medicines. The first volume of Ph.Int. was published in 1951.

In the beginning, it encompassed all the medicines that were available and sold globally. Since 1975 The International Pharmacopoeia focuses on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, and more recently on priority medicines of major public health importance and those recommended by specific WHO disease programmes, for instance, medicines to treat malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as medicines for children. Priority is also given to medicines evaluated by the Medicines Prequalification Programme.

The work on The International Pharmacopoeia is carried out in collaboration with members of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on The International Pharmacopoeia and WHO Expert Committee on Specification for Pharmaceutical Preparations and with other specialists. The process involves consultation of and input from WHO Member States’ drug regulatory authorities and national drug quality control laboratories, WHO collaborating Centres, standard-setting organizations and with manufacturers around the world.

International Pharmacopoeia online


20 Avenue Appia
1211, Geneva 27