There is a general concern about rising costs of pharmaceutical expenses. One political measure is a more efficient distribution system, which can take the form of new channels for retailing. In Norway mail-order pharmacy (MOP) has been brought to the agenda due to the recently proposed law regulating pharmacies ("Apoteklov"), market developments abroad, demand for self-medication, the increase in OTC-products and advances in information technology. Mail-order pharmacy involves direct delivery of medications through postal mail to patients or those responsible for dispensing medication. With reference to the USA, mail-order pharmacy has filled a niche in the market and several other countries are following. We are convinced that it is possible to maintain a high level of service quality in the sense of safety, counselling and compliance, and that there is a potential to develop a model for this distribution form in Norway. We believe that the actors in the Norwegian pharmaceutical market are better served in taking a more active role in this area and where possible initiating pilot projects in mail-order distribution. The pharmacists will continue to play an important role as a retail outlet and should, with their influence over patients, their knowledge and experience, contribute towards developing MOP to be a safe and complementary sales outlet. Developing such a solution demands the right balance between performance and quality on the one hand and efficiency on the other; two criteria, which we believe, do not contradict each other.