The position of self-medication in the health care system of the Federal Republic of Germany has become more important during the last years. The possibility of self-treatment of minor illnesses is accepted by the majority of the consumers. Associations concerned and the legislature are in favour of self-medication particularly in view of political principles and health economical reasons within a limit which does not endanger the security of medication. At present self-medication medicines amount to 18 per cent of the sale of medicines in pharmacies. There has been a lot of discussion lately on the distinction between prescribed and non-prescribed medicines as well as on the risks of pharmaceuticals available for self-service. But the principle of self-medication itself is not in doubt.