Rx-360 Patient Safety Podcast: Interview with USP CEO Ron Piervincenzi, Ph.D.

PHILADELPHIAApril 11, 2022 — Rx-360 released the third episode of The Patient Safety Podcast, featuring Ron Piervincenzi, Ph.D., CEO of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Jim Fries, CEO of Rx-360, leads the conversation and covers Piervincenzi’s time at USP, the company’s 200-year history of developing standards, and the way those standards were put to the test during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Piervincenzi unpacked the evolution of quality control in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry from the 1800s to present day. Before USP was founded in 1820, the industry lacked a unified standard for quality control in pharmaceuticals. Since then, USP has established over seven thousand standards for the pharmaceutical industry.

“Over 200 years, USP’s standards have evolved to ensure that the medicine that reaches the patient is the quality it’s supposed to be. That’s why there are over seven thousand standards to cover the drug supply and different stages of the supply chain. To me, the supply chain doesn’t end until it’s at the affected place in the body,” said Piervincenzi.

The conversation also covered USP maintaining standards and best practices during the pandemic, including how USP’s quality checks were tested in an environment that needed the same quality, but at exponential speeds.

“How did we keep up? We moved 10 to 50 times faster. We recreated processes but did not change any of our standards. Because our standards are the law, we had to be rigorous. So, when the pandemic comes in, we have to be able to turn around a standard over a 48-hour period,” said Piervincenzi.

The podcast highlights how innovation forms under pressure, and how discovering new ways to foster innovation in the supply chain can help to keep patients safe.


About Rx-360

Rx-360 is a non-profit international pharmaceutical supply chain consortium formed in 2009 to support an industry-wide commitment to ensuring patient safety by enhancing quality and authenticity throughout the supply chain. The organization’s mission is to protect patient safety by sharing information and developing processes related to the integrity of the healthcare supply chain and the quality of its materials primarily through its working group and unique audit program. To learn more visit Rx-360.org or email jfries@rx-360.org