Insulin glulisine (Apidra, Sanofi-Aventis), a new and recently approved rapid-acting insulin analogue, mimics the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of physiological human insulin, but has a rapid onset, peak effect at 1h, and a shorter duration of action (approximately 4 h). Its rapid-action properties are maintained across subject types. Formal clinical evaluations show that insulin glulisine can be administered safely and effectively pre- and postmeal. When injected immediately premeal, insulin glulisine provides superior postprandial blood glucose control compared with regular human insulin (RHI) injected 30 min premeal. These data highlight the flexibility in the dosing schedule with insulin glulisine. Clinical trials have demonstrated that insulin glulisine elicits a greater reduction in glycosylated haemoglobin at end point than RHI, in both type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, the safe administration of insulin glulisine by continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion has been demonstrated in patients with type 1 diabetes. In conclusion, insulin glulisine is an effective, safe and well-tolerated rapid-acting insulin analogue.