Terminally differentiated neutrophils are short-lived but the key effector cells of the innate immune response, and have a prominent role in the pathogenesis and propagation of many inflammatory diseases. Delayed apoptosis, which is responsible for their extended longevity, is critically dependent on a balance of intracellular survival versus pro-apoptotic proteins. Here, we elucidate the mechanism by which the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor drugs such as R-roscovitine and DRB (5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylbenzimidazole) mediate neutrophil apoptosis. We demonstrate (by a combination of microarray, confocal microscopy, apoptosis assays and western blotting) that the phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II by CDKs 7 and 9 is inhibited by R-roscovitine and that specific effects on neutrophil transcriptional capacity are responsible for neutrophil apoptosis. Finally, we show that specific CDK7 and 9 inhibition with DRB drives resolution of neutrophil-dominant inflammation. Thus, we highlight a novel mechanism that controls both primary human neutrophil transcription and apoptosis that could be targeted by selective CDK inhibitor drugs to resolve established inflammation.