Centralized intravenous additive services (CIVA) are becoming an essential component of hospital pharmacy services in the U.K. This review explores the background to their development, indicating how aseptic services commenced with total parenteral nutrition, developed further with cytotoxic drug preparation and is now progressing, in an increasing number of hospitals, to a full range of parenteral drug services. The benefits of pharmacy-operated provision of injections in ready-to-administer forms are described. The operation of such services is then considered in detail. A brief discussion of the types of service that can be operated is followed by consideration of staffing, facilities, methods of operation, technical support and documentation. National guidelines in the U.K. and U.S.A. are compared, since these have a major influence of the nature of CIVA service operation. The issues associated with the stability of reconstituted and repackaged injectables are discussed, together with how our knowledge can be used in the assignment of shelf lives to pharmacy-prepared intravenous additives. The review concludes with a brief assessment of future trends and changes likely to affect intravenous services provided under pharmacy control.