Repaglinide is a novel, fast-acting prandial oral hypoglycaemic agent developed for the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes whose disease cannot be controlled by diet and exercise alone. Although repaglinide binds to the sulphonylurea binding sites on pancreatic beta-cells and has a similar mechanism of action, repaglinide exhibits distinct pharmacological properties compared with these agents. Following administration, repaglinide is absorbed rapidly and has a fast onset of dose-dependent blood-glucose lowering effect. The drug is eliminated rapidly via the biliary route, without accumulation in the plasma after multiple doses. Repaglinide is well tolerated in patients with type 2 diabetes, including elderly patients and patients with hepatic or renal impairment. The pharmacokinetic profile of repaglinide and the improvements in post-prandial hyperglycaemia and overall glycaemic control make repaglinide suitable for administration preprandially, with the opportunity for flexible meal arrangements, including skipped meals, without the risk of hypoglycaemia.