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The Homœopathic Pharmacopœia of the United States

What is the HPUS?

The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States has been in continuous publication since 1897, when it was first published by the Committee on Pharmacy of the American Institute of Homeopathy. Prior to that, pharmacopoeias had been published by Boericke and Tafel (1882) and Jahr (1841). In recent years, homeopathy has seen a great resurgence in the United States, increasing the need for an updated edition of the HPUS since its last publication in 1982.

In reality, the HPUS has consisted of several different books: the HPUS Eighth Edition, Volume I (1979); the Compendium of Homeo-therapeutics (1974); and Supplement "A" of the HPUS Eighth Edition (1982). This system of three texts caused information to be difficult to access.

To eliminate the difficulties presented by this system, the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) decided to republish these texts into one compilation to be known as the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States Revision Service. Because it is specifically designed to constitute a continuously updated statement of Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia standards and monographs as recognized by the HPCUS, the Revision Service is being printed in a series of loose-leaf binders that has replaced the three previous volumes as the official compendium recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and is being sold on a subscription basis that covers the original cost of the Revision Service and periodic updates.1

When new monographs or other material are added, or existing parts of the compendium are changed, the Revision Service may be updated by the publication of additional pages (for new material) or replacement pages (for revised material) in lieu of reprinting an entirely new volume. The updated pages will be sent to all persons who subscribe to the Revision Service. The subscriber is obligated to ensure that the updated pages are inserted into the subscriber's binder(s) and the outdated pages are discarded. A master copy of the Revision Service, along with all updated and outdated pages, is maintained by the HPCUS.

The Revision Service, appropriately updated, thus constitutes the official compendium of homeopathy. To be consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the official name of the Revision Service is the "Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States/Revision Service." The official abbreviation is "HPRS."

The HPUS Revision Service is produced from the standpoint of safety, efficacy, and standardization, and also establishes tables that identify those remedies that are potentially toxic, and indicate minimum potency levels in which those remedies may be sold.

The Revision Service provides a clear set of standards for the manufacturer of homeopathic drug products. This task is accomplished in several ways: First, there is one compilation in one place that constitutes the official compendium. Second, the establishment of monographs provides uniform products when manufactured under HPRS methods. Third, the assignment of these monographs into classes that carefully recognize the characteristics of the crude material aids standardization. Fourth, the development of standards for testing and measuring the material and processes helps establish a uniform quality control mechanism. Fifth, the codification of minimum dispensable potencies and alcohol percentages of homeopathic tinctures clarifies present practices.

All standards and controls contained in the Homöopathisches Arzneibuch (HAB) or the Pharmacopée Française (FP) for substances that have official monographs listed in the HPUS, are incorporated into the HPUS Revision Service.

A medicinal preparation of biological (animal or botanical), mineral, or synthetic origin which meets the "Criteria for Eligibility of Drugs for Inclusion in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States," is designated an "Official Homeopathic Drug" after inclusion in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.