Since the rheumatic diseases are among the most prevalent of conditions, the anti-rheumatic drugs make up one of the largest groups of drugs prescribed. They vary from the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs through to the complex imrnunomodulators. There are significant differences between these groups of drugs as regards their mechanism of action and within each spectrum of adverse reactions, yet there is also some overlap. class there are also subtle individual differences between the drugs despite a sharing of the basic mechanisms of action and range of side effects. It is this individual variation and, in particular, the individual reaction of the patient to the drug that we attempted to address at this symposium. The first symposium on Individual Variation in Response to Non- Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs was held at Leura, New South Wales, Australia as a satellite symposium to the XVI International Congress of Rheumatology in August, 1985. Following a successful meeting, proceedings of which were published in a supplement to Agents and Actions (Suppl. 17, 1986), it was decided to organise a second symposium as a satellite meeting of the International Congressof Pharmacology Meeting in Sydney, August, 1987. The meeting was held at the Manly Pacific and focused on variability in response to anti-rheumatic drugs in general rather than just concentrating on the non-steroidal drugs.