The case for pharmaceutical care as pharmacy's mission for the 1990s is presented. The emergence of pharmacy as a clinical profession has given pharmacists the skills and knowledge to improve the outcomes of drug therapy. It also presents them with the responsibility for those results. Practitioners of pharmaceutical care are concerned with the effect of their services on patients' quality of life and not merely with the act of providing services. They work with other health-care professionals as equals to ensure that therapeutic goals are achieved and that drug-related illness does not occur or is quickly detected and resolved. To be accepted and implemented, pharmaceutical care must first overcome pharmacy's product- and service-oriented focus, opposition from other health-care professions and drug manufacturers, financial and logistical problems, and ignorance and inertia among pharmacists themselves. Through a united effort, pharmacy organizations, schools, and individual pharmacists can translate the need for pharmaceutical care into demands for it by patients, insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, and the government. Pharmaceutical skills and knowledge have developed to the point where pharmacists must share in responsibility for the outcomes of drug therapy.