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GlaxoSmithKline 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.”

GlaxoSmithKline PLC

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. GSK is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical and consumer health-related products. The company primarily operates in 117 countries and its products are sold in about 140 countries. GSK is headquartered in Brentford, the UK employed about 99,003 people.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Location of Factor






  • Strong sales and marketing infrastructure, positions GSK as a marketing partner of choice
  • Industry-leading early to mid stage R&D pipeline
  • Robust sales growth forecast for launch portfolio
  • Industry-leading player with regard to implementation of life-cycle management strategies
  • Strong business fundamentals and robust balance sheet
  • Demonstrated ability to drive cost elimination


  • Mature portfolio of marketed products becoming increasingly exposure to generic competition
  • Lack of blockbuster product launches following creation (via merger) in 2000
  • Perceived safety concerns relating to key Avandia product franchise
  • High dependence on low growth/highly competitive CNS and respiratory markets
  • Failure of R&D pipeline to deliver initial commercial expectation



  • Potential for CEDD-inspired R&D pipeline to deliver strong growth beyond 2013
  • Enhanced vaccine offering, building on strong historical ID presence
  • Movement into high growth oncology market
  • Movement into biologics, specifically antibodies, segment
  • Potential to increase sales growth in RoW/emerging markets
  • Continued cost elimination
  • Strong cash position facilitates potential M&A


  • Impact of generic erosion to sales generated by key product franchises
  • Further development setbacks impacting late stage R&D pipeline
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