INTRODUCTION As type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) advances, patients receiving basal insulin will eventually require another agent on top of their current regimen in order to achieve glycemic control. One such agent that can be administered in combination with basal insulin is the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1 RA) lixisenatide. GLP-1 RAs, such as lixisenatide, and basal insulin offer complementary mechanisms of action in their ability to provide glycemic control, thus providing a strong rationale for using them in combination with each other for the treatment of T2DM. AREAS COVERED The current data available on the use of lixisenatide added to basal insulin for the management of T2DM is reviewed. EXPERT OPINION Lixisenatide as add-on to basal insulin provides overall glycemic control as well as offering a number of other treatment benefits, such as a reduction in both body weight and the risk of hypoglycemia. Therefore, when basal insulin becomes inadequate in managing T2DM, lixisenatide should be considered as an add-on agent to help patients achieve glycemic targets with a low risk of hypoglycemic events.