The Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987 is described, and its implications for hospitals and other health-care entities are discussed. The act, which became effective on July 21, 1988, is intended to reduce public health risks from adulterated, misbranded, and counterfeit drug products that enter the marketplace through drug diversion. The law provides that prescription drug products manufactured in the United States and exported can no longer be reimported, except by the product's manufacturer. It also establishes restrictions on sales of prescription drug products and samples. Samples of prescription drug products may be distributed only if a licensed prescriber requests them. Other distribution channels for samples specified in the law are permissible, provided records are maintained. Under the law, wholesale distributors must be licensed by the state and meet uniform standards. Penalties for violations of the law are also identified. According to FDA's advisory guidelines on the statute, the law will permit hospitals to return drug products, provided the return is made to the manufacturer or wholesaler and provided written notice is secured that the goods were received (for manufacturers) or the goods were destroyed or returned to the manufacturer (for wholesalers). The final chapter on drug diversion must await issuance of final FDA regulations.