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      USP comes to India, eyes Asia

      Posted AtThe Financial Express

      WASHINGTON, AUGUST 11: The nonprofit company that sets quality standards for US prescription and over-the-counter drugs says it will open an office in India by the end of this year - its first overseas branch. While 130 countries currently use United States Pharmacopeia standards to produce medicine, the new laboratory in Hyderabad will mark USP's first time permanently working abroad to offer its services to pharmaceutical manufacturers.

      India, which provides bulk ingredients for many US drug companies, is seen as a natural base in Asia for the company. The country, which has a large, well-educated work force, has recently begun building up businesses testing drugs in clinical trials and manufacturing generic drugs, said Christopher-Paul Milne, Assistant Director of the Tufts Center for the study of drug development.

      "This move makes sense, because India is so important in the pharmaceutical manufacturing world," Milne said. "It's apparently a jumping-off point for USP to work in other Asian countries."

      USP spokeswoman Sherrie Borden declined to discuss details of the company's plans. But the company's web site says it wants to help eliminate poor quality drugs in countries with limited regulatory resources. Those drugs can increase antimicrobial resistance.

      The Indian USP lab will collaborate with workers in the United states to make sure various drugs' reference standards are correct, Borden said.

      A staff of two is currently scouting workers in India for the lab, Borden said

      August 11, 2005


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