In the management of acute coronary artery disease, as in the words of the ancient Chinese proverb, we live in ‘interesting times’. The rate of development of diagnostic techniques, of improved pharmacological and interventional therapies and of prognostic tools is unprecedented. No sooner have guidelines for the management of acute coronary artery disease appeared in print, or even in electronic format, than they require updating in the light of the latest evidence. In addition, educational, logistic and financial challenges mean that clinical practice lags well behind the evidence and consensus recommendations. Each major advance in management requires careful consideration to optimise benefit and minimise hazard. Thus, this series of articles sets out to put the recent findings concerning the use of clopidogrel into a wider clinical context, as part of the effort to bridge the gap between evidence and practice.