The objective of this contribution is to briefly outline the broad category of cost- benefit analysis and its potential to provide a meaningful instrument in marketing concepts for pharmaceuticals. First, the incentives for the interest in cost-benefit analysis and "quality of life" studies are analysed. Starting from limited health care resources and cost containment as its sequelae the specifics of the nature of the pharmaceutical market place are enlighted. The second part of the paper is devoted to an analysis of the existing methods for cost-benefit analysis and their limitations are reviewed. In a final step, the way how cost-benefit data may be used in marketing is described. On this basis the potential of cost-benefit analysis as a marketing instrument is demonstrated. The paper will be rounded off by a short check-list aiming to provide an operational tool for those who wish to undertake cost-benefit analyses or "Quality of Life" studies in future.