The prevalence of type-2 diabetes is rapidly increasing with up to a quarter of people over 60 years of age affected by it. To reduce the risk of the associated microvascular and macrovascular complications, national guidelines for glycaemic control recommend HbA1c targets of between 6.5–7·5%. In recent years two novel GLP 1 receptor agonists exenatide and liraglutide have become available for clinical use.