Standards for economic evaluation have now been proposed in several countries. The background for this article is a report commissioned in 1994 by the Danish health authorities (the National Board of Health and the Danish Ministry of Health) on the state of the art of economic evaluation: are the methods ready to be used for systematic decision-making in the Danish healthcare sector? The themes of this article are the attitude towards economic evaluation of medical technologies and healthcare services in Denmark, the areas for application and the desirability and feasibility of a standard set of methods for conducting economic evaluations. In addition, the current state of methodologies in economic evaluation is briefly outlined. On the background of a roundtable discussion of interested parties, the Danish health authorities have decided to introduce economic evaluation of new pharmaceutical products, on a voluntary basis for 2 to 3 years, when application has been made for public reimbursement.