Proteins and peptides have emerged in recent years to treat a wide range of multifaceted diseases such as cancer, diabetes and inflammation. The emergence of polypeptides has yielded advancements in the fields of biopharmaceutical production and formulation. Polypeptides often display poor pharmacokinetics, limited permeability across biological barriers, suboptimal biodistribution, and some proclivity for immunogenicity. Frequent administration of polypeptides is generally required to maintain adequate therapeutic levels, which can limit efficacy and compliance while increasing adverse reactions. Many strategies to increase the duration of action of therapeutic polypeptides have been described with many clinical products having been developed. This review describes approaches to optimise polypeptide delivery organised by the commonly used routes of administration. Future innovations in formulation may hold the key to the continued successful development of proteins and peptides with optimal clinical properties.