At present we may be at the cross-roads in the therapeutic approaches we have for the treatment of the 100 or more rheumatic conditions. This is be cause we now recognise that although some advances have been made with the development of a large range of non-steroidal and steroidal drugs during the past two decades or so, we now recognise that many, if not all, of these have rather limited effects on many of the disease processes which underlie the manifestations of the various rheumatic states. Advances in molecular bi- 010gy in the past 5-10 years have enabled these tools to be applied extensive ly for developing further our understanding of the rheumatic disease processes. In some cases these molecular tools (e. g. ,),-interferon, interleukin- 2, T-cell antibodies) have been directly employed as therapies themselves. While the outcome from trials with such agents in rheumatoid arthritis in particular has not been as would have been hoped, these results as with cy closporin A and low-dose methotrexate in the therapy of rheumatoid arth ritis have given us important indications for the approach employing what are generally described as "immunomodulators" to control this disease. But this may not be the same type of approach which is desirable for all types of rheumatic conditions. Indeed, even the way which the present range of drugs and other therapies are applied may not be the most effective and safe means of treating different types of arthritic conditions.