MHRA labs at LGC

Under contract to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), LGC hosts and operates the UK’s Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) for chemical testing and British Pharmacopoeia Commission Laboratory.

The OMCL was first established at LGC in 2001 to carry out routine surveillance testing on licensed medicines to ensure the integrity of the market, as well as testing on unlicensed, illegal and counterfeit medicines. In 2006, MHRA also awarded the work of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission Laboratory (BPCL) to LGC.

Jointly, these laboratories are home to around 40 scientists - experts in the verification, development and validation of analytical methods - who help the MHRA protect public health by ensuring that medicines and healthcare products are safe for those who use them. LGC investigates analytical methods, which are subsequently published as monographs (legally mandated standards) in the British Pharmacopoeia (BP) - a comprehensive collection of around 4000 official standards for pharmaceutical and medicinal products.

One of LGC's other primary roles is to procure, establish and maintain a catalogue of around 900 chemical reference materials that accompany the BP – standards known as British Pharmacopoeial Chemical Reference Substances (BPCRS).

Through monographs and reference materials, LGC's MHRA Laboratories Team supports the annual BP publication, which has been providing official standards for medicines since 1864. 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 pharmaceutical and medicinal products. Published in both hardcopy and digital formats each year, the BP continues to have a wide international reach, with BP 2022 currently being used in over 100 countries. Please visit the British Pharmacopoeia website for further details.


Medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency logo also know as MHRA