RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a powerful tool to downregulate the expression of specific genes. Drug-inducible systems allowing for conditional RNAi that offer the unique potential to modulate expression of virtually any endogenous gene in the cell have been recently developed. Their applications are very broad, ranging from basic studies of gene function to translational research including modeling of human diseases, analysis of potential side effects of candidate drugs, testing of gene-based therapies and loss-of-function screens. Here we summarize the state of the art of systems allowing for drug-controllable knockdown, and provide a description of their current and future applications.