The purpose of the trial was to determine whether a sustained release preparation of prostaglandin E2 (Propess) is better in inducing labour when compared with the more widely used short-acting (instant-release) preparation (Prostin). A randomised controlled clinical trial involving 100 pregnant women at term with an indication for induction of labour was conducted in a district general hospital in the UK over a 1-year period. Women were randomised to receive one of the two preparations. The study revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in time to onset of labour, duration of labour, total time from induction to delivery, method of delivery, and analgesia requirements. The number of preparations required to induce labour were significantly less in the Propess group. Our data suggest that both Propess and Prostin are safe and effective in induction of labour, for either primips or multips. However, Prostin use is more cost-effective.