Aliskiren is the newest antihypertensive drug and the first orally active direct renin inhibitor to become available for clinical use. Clinical data have substantiated that the antihypertensive effectiveness of aliskiren is similar to that of the other major antihypertensive agents. Furthermore, aliskiren has a similar safety profile to placebo. Combination treatment with aliskiren showed significant blood pressure and proteinuria reductions compared with monotherapy. Aliskiren decreases plasma renin activity in contrast to other renin-angiotensinaldosterone related drugs. The efficacy of aliskiren in treating major cardiovascular events and the prevention of end-organ damage are being investigated in the ASPIRE HIGHER program. Although the first studies of the ASPIRE HIGHER program such as ALOFT, AVOID, AGELESS showed favorable findings, ASPIRE and AVANT-GARDE studies provided contradictory results. Subsequently, the ALTITUDE study was terminated early because of safety issues and lack of beneficial effects. Most recently, the ASTRONAUT trial showed no reduction in cardiovascular death or heart failure rehospitalization with the addition of aliskiren to standard therapy in patients who were hospitalized for heart failure and with reduced left-ventricular ejection fraction. The results of ongoing studies in other patient groups such as the ATMOSPHERE trial are awaited.