A survey was carried out to determine the role of the community pharmacist in self-medication by the public. This included provision of advice on the use of medicines and on general health matters. Medicine sales during one trading day were recorded in 57 pharmacies in the Wellington area. 58.6 percent of customer requests for medicine or advice resulted in the sale of a medicine without additional advice. The remaining 41.4 percent of contacts were accompanied by advice from a pharmacist whether a medicine sale was made or not. Of the total advised contacts, 7.8 percent resulted in referral to seek medical advice and 9.8 percent were for general health advice with no sale of a medicine. The results of the survey suggest an important role for the community pharmacist as an adviser in self-medication and in the screening of minor illness.