A total parenteral nutrition program in a 635-bed private nonteaching institution which uses the pharmacist as team leader is described. To initiate TPN therapy, the attending physician writes a request for a consulation with the pharmacist. Prior to initiation of TPN therapy, the pharmacist reviews the chart, conducts a physical and nutritional assessment of the patient, orders any laboratory tests needed for further assessment of the patient and uses these results to classify the patient's nutritional status. The pharmacist then writes all TPN-related orders, including orders for laboratory tests and nursing care. Communications between the pharmacist and the attending physician concerning the progress of the patient and TPN changes are conducted orally on rounds and via chart notes. The number of patients receiving TPN therapy has increased each year--from six patients during 1976, to 19 patients during 1977 and 54 in 1978. Of the two preventable complications that developed in these 79 patients, both were quickly resolved by the pharmacist. Physicians who, in the past, opted not to place patients on TPN because of lack knowledge or lack of a TPN consultant, now rely on the pharmacist for this service.