The ADA and the EASD recently published a consensus statement for the medical management of hyperglycaemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. The authors advocate initial treatment with metformin monotherapy and lifestyle modification, followed by addition of basal insulin or a sulfonylurea if glycaemic goals are not met (tier 1 recommendations). All other glucose-lowering therapies are relegated to a secondary (tier 2) status and only recommended for selected clinical settings. In our view, this algorithm does not offer physicians and patients the appropriate selection of options to individualise and optimise care with a view to sustained control of blood glucose and reduction both of diabetes complications and cardiovascular risk. This paper critically assesses the basis of the ADA/EASD algorithm and the resulting tiers of treatment options.