Demographic issues, opportunities to minimize the risk of illness, curing illnesses, diagnostic advancements, the sequencing of the human genome, and information technology all point to the fact that pharmaceutical products will play an increasing role in health care systems, and so will costs related to their use.

The advent of a more educated, advanced customer in the developed countries, and a still stronger voice from developing countries for access to treatments will, in combination with the above mentioned trends, have the capacity to reconfigure healthcare systems, leading to a redefinition of professional roles, a redrawing of institutional boundaries, and the formation of new clusters between the actors in health systems.

Pharmacists are generally considered society's drug experts, having acquired the most comprehensive knowledge about medicines and medicine use through their basic and continued lifelong education. Because of an increasing dominance of medicines in the total supply of health services, and the related consumption of economical resources, the need to secure an optimal use will require a closer cooperation between stakeholders and various competences. No single profession can monopolize the drug in use process.

On this background, the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) decided to establish an international think tank: the International Forum on Medicines (IFoM), combining various expertise and competence within sciences related to the development and use of medicines: Biotechnology and pharmacogenomics, clinical pharmacology, medical anthropology, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacoeconomics, health economics, sociology.

The aim was to form a group which had the competence to watch early signs of trends, to analyse such trends, and suggest strategies on how to best prepare healthcare providers for changes in delivery and usage systems.

2003 International Forum on Medicines {IFoM}- top - home