This paper is divided into four parts: The first part describes the increasing relevance of the East Asian markets: between 1990 and 1993 the gross national product of Taiwan grew by 27%; and by 44% in the Peoples Republic of China. This region currently makes up 25% of the gross world product. In the second part, we illustrate a strategic marketing research project we designed and conducted in this region from the point of view of the pharmaceutical manufacturer and marketing research institute. This project was based on a multiple source survey, and was designed to enable continuing observation of various trends in selected Asian pharmaceutical markets. The results of this study were compiled in a "handbook" which contains qualitative as well as quantitive data on more than 300 various aspects. The handbook was arranged in a "loose leaf" format in order to allow continuous updating and interpretation. The third section illustrates several unique features of the East Asian pharmaceutical markets, with particular emphasis on the attitudes of consumers toward health, the role of self-medication and consumer demands regarding products and information. In the final section, we make conclusions from experiences drawn from our almost 10 years of pharmaceutical marketing research in East Asia.