The advent of platelet membrane glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa inhibitors has changed the landscape of interventional cardiology. Given the commercial availability of abciximab and expected regulatory approvals for other receptor blockers, defining appropriate use of these agents in the interventional setting is mandated. One key issue is selection of patients who may benefit from GP IIb/IIIa receptor blockade. Focusing specifically on abciximab, data from three large-scale, randomized trials demonstrate that abciximab is appropriate for all patients undergoing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, regardless of risk stratum. Other important issues to consider when prescribing this therapy include benefits in conjunction with stents and new devices, dosing and timing of administration, and the role of prophylactic versus "bailout" administration. This article reflects a distillation of the views and consensus regarding the use of GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in patients undergoing coronary intervention expressed by a group of international experts convened in Davos, Switzerland, February 16, 1997. This report attempts to review clinical progress to date, formulate recommendations, and map out potentially fruitful lines of inquiry for future investigation.