A working party of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology has reviewed the role of specific allergen immunotherapy in the treatment of allergic disease and produced a position statement summarising the available evidence for efficacy and safety. The working party recommends specific allergen immunotherapy for treating summer hay fever uncontrolled by conventional medication and for wasp and bee venom hypersensitivity. It is not recommended for asthma or for allergic rhinitis due to other allergens. For the recommended indications the risk:benefit ratio is acceptable provided patients are carefully selected; in particular, patients with asthma should be excluded as they are especially vulnerable to adverse reactions. Injections should be given only by doctors experiences in this form of treatment in a clinic where full resuscitative facilities are immediately available. Provided patients remain symptom free a 60 minute observation period after injection is sufficient to detect all serious adverse reactions.