During the past decade relevant progress has been made in the understanding and treatment of IBD-associated anemia. Effective replacement of iron deficits has become safe by using novel intravenous iron preparations such as iron sucrose. The ability of erythropoietin to interfere with key mechanisms of myelosuppression in anemia of chronic diseases also benefits patients with IBD-associated anemia. Concerns about cost effectiveness have been raised and weighed against the potential improvement in quality of life. Gastroenterologists who are caring for IBD patients should be concerned with low hemoglobin levels, since the quality of life in these patients can be as low as in anemic patients with advanced cancer. Also provided is a structured approach to cost-effective therapy.