The scope of the conference (Nasal and Buccal Drug Delivery Conference, Management Forum; Chairs Franz Merkus and Julie Suman) was to consider innovations in drug delivery via the nose and oral cavity, notably for the delivery of vaccines, antimalarials and rapidly acting sedatives. Presentations from experts from academia, government agencies and commercial organisations were made over the 2 days. The advantages of both routes were ease of application, patient acceptability and no requirement to produce sterile products. These routes worked best for drugs that are water soluble – but with some lipophilicity – only require low doses, are acceptable to the patient and have low irritancy (particulary for the nasal route). Challenges relate to the effectiveness of deposition from the delivery systems and the efficient clearance mechanisms. It was concluded that for many drugs, buccal and nasal delivery could become the route of choice for their application; vaccines, in particular, appear to show promise for nasal delivery.