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Astrazeneca PLC (SWOT Analysis)

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“SWOT is an acronym for the internal Strengths and Weaknesses of a firm and the environmental Opportunities and Threats facing that firm. SWOT analysis is a widely used technique through which managers create a quick overview of a company’s strategic situation. The technique is based on the assumption that an effective strategy derives from a sound “fit” between a firm’s internal resources (strengths and weaknesses) and its external situation (opportunities and threats). A good fit maximizes a firm’s strengths and opportunities and minimizes its weaknesses and threats. Accurately applied, this simple assumption has powerful implications for the design of a successful strategy.”

Astrazeneca PLC

AstraZeneca is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the UK. The company was formed in 1999 by the merger of Swedish-based Astra and UK-based Zeneca Group. AstraZeneca has a strong presence in the US and retains a significant presence in Sweden as a legacy of Astra. The company is headquartered in London and employed about 65,000 people.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Location of Factor






  • Robust Crestor and Symbicort product franchises
  • Strong track record in differentiating key brands/blockbusters from ‘me too’ competitors
  • Strong position in RoW/emerging markets


  • Over reliance on blockbuster-driven strategy
  • Late stage R&D pipeline adversely impacted by product discontinuations
  • High dependence on small molecule product base



  • MedImmune/CAT acquisitions and movement into biologics market
  • Cost-restructuring initiatives
  • Potential in-licensing/co-development opportunities
  • Movement into biosimilars market
  • Extraction of further sales growth in RoW markets


  • Exposure to generic competition across portfolio of key brands, intensifying from 2011 onwards
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