The aim of this paper is to help governments and pharmaceutical bodies work closer with GPs by understanding the latter's attitudes towards drug usage and cost- containment measures. The paper is in three parts. The first part considers the background of the healthcare 'crisis' in Europe and the GPs' role in cost-containment. The second part describes research conducted to discover where each country stands in terms of primary health care, and attitudes GPs hold as to where they are 'going'. In particular, six attitudinal constructs have been identified, and these show that GPs' views vary widely by country. The last part explores some implications of this research for the pharmaceutical industry and concludes that marketing strategies should take national differences into account and that changes in attitudes should be tracked.