Angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs) have been shown to provide stroke, cardiac and renal protection in high-risk hypertensive patients. Telmisartan is a powerful and selective ARB that provides sustained blood pressure reduction for a full 24 h after a single dose and continues to protect against circadian blood pressure surges in the critical early morning hours. The objective of the Programme of Research tO show Telmisartan End-organ proteCTION (PROTECTION) is to measure the end-organ protective effects of telmisartan in patients at high risk of renal, cardiac and vascular damage. An extensive series of clinical trials is being conducted to compare telmisartan with valsartan, losartan, amlodipine and ramipril in patients at increased risk of end-organ damage. Nine clinical studies will examine the effects of telmisartan in about 5000 hypertensive patients with isolated systolic hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity, left ventricular hypertrophy or renal disease. All of the studies will be conducted using state-of-the-art technology, including such techniques as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and magnetic resonance imaging. This programme will also investigate the effects of an ARB on key surrogate markers of organ tissue damage. This series of trials will characterize the end-organ protective effects of telmisartan in hypertensive patient populations at high risk of clinical events.