Glycemic control is suboptimal in many patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Despite documented benefits of insulin therapy, initiation of insulin is delayed in many cases because of the reluctance of patients and physicians to use this important treatment. A review of the literature revealed that educating patients about the role of insulin in managing T2DM and the advantages of using insulin analogs and insulin delivery devices may help alleviate some patients' concerns regarding insulin therapy. Compared with standard clinic-directed approaches, patient-driven algorithms that empower patients to initiate and titrate basal insulin therapy have been shown to improve glycemic control. Additional research is needed to confirm the importance of patient empowerment programs in T2DM management.