Established in 1987, the EuroQol Group initially comprised a network of international, multilingual and multidisciplinary researchers from seven centres in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Nowadays, the Group comprises researchers from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Japan, New Zealand, Slovenia, Spain, the USA and Zimbabwe. The process of shared development and local experimentation resulted in EQ-5D, a generic measure of health status that provides a simple descriptive profile and a single index value that can be used in the clinical and economic evaluation of health care and in population health surveys. Currently, EQ-5D is being widely used in different countries by clinical researchers in a variety of clinical areas. EQ-5D is also being used by eight out of the first 10 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies listed in the annual report of Pharma Business (November/December 1999). Furthermore, EQ-5D is one of the handful of measures recommended for use in cost-effectiveness analyses by the Washington Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. EQ-5D has now been translated into most major languages with the EuroQol Group closely monitoring the process.