Innovative ways of collaboration between actors involved are needed to increase the quality of drug therapy. Sweden is fortunate to have access to reliable and detailed statistics on drug sales and prescribing patterns. The various data bases are being described. A common classification system (ATC) and a unit of measurement (DDD) enable comparisons at various levels. Major differences between countries, counties, and health centres are presented. Little is known about the reasons for these differences. In order to leave its infancy, drug utilization studies need that clinical pharmacology establishes linkages with primary health care where a majority of the prescribing takes place. Systems should also be developed activating the prescribers involving them in a revolving cycle of self audit. To study drug use in its context a multidisciplinary approach is needed. The descriptive phase should be complemented by targeted intervention and methods should be developed for drug information. Future drug utilization studies need more of a patient-prescriber perspective (PPP).