In 1999 it was reported that there were each year in the USA some 7,000 deaths caused by medication errors.
Drug utilization is to a large extent irrational and related to teachings by opinion leaders and to influences of marketing efforts by the pharmaceutical industry. As a result of the so called pharmacological revolution an immense body of knowledge about modern drugs has accumulated. It is not used optimally, however, because training in pharmacology is insufficient and because information about drugs is neither well organized nor readily available. This problem can be improved only by developing an appropriate infrastructure with teaching, service and research as important functions. This infrastructure will have to overcome resistances by physicians, pharmacologists and pharmacists.