Many considerations determine the location, size, and organization of a national control laboratory. They include: financial resources; the drug control requirements of the national regulatory authority; the extent of drug usage within the country; and the number of different sources from which products are purchased.
If a country has a decentralized national administrative structure or if communications are poor, it may be necessary to establish provincial or peripheral laboratories.
Careful consideration must also be accorded to organizational and professional links between the control laboratory and other public health services, including food control laboratories, microbiological laboratories, hospital or regional clinical laboratories, and university departments of medicine or pharmacy.
Although it is practicable to institute and run a medium-size control laboratory apart from other laboratory services, economies can be effected by siting it in a complex together with other institutions. This enables the laboratory to retain independence of operation, while sharing common supporting services (e.g. supply units, maintenance crews, and repair shops). It also offers the possibility of using specialized facilities in adjacent laboratories (e.g. bacteriological laboratories for sterility testing) instead of duplicating the same facilities within the drug control laboratory.