Our profession’s origins lie in the preparation of medicines, and while we do still prepare some of these, particularly injectables, most oral preparations can now be sourced from commercial companies. Due to this availability of medicines, hospital pharmacists have taken the opportunity to move out of their dispensaries and into clinical areas where they can focus their skills on the safe, rational and economical use of medicines in patients. The level of development of these services varies across Europe depending on national and local factors. But whatever shape hospital pharmacy currently takes in our own organisations, it is vital that we have a vision for the future: the use and complexity of medicines are increasing, and if we are to stay central to the medicines management agenda our services must evolve.
Reflecting on technological and professional developments described in this journal over the years, it is