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Pfizer (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.”


Pfizer is one of the largest global pharmaceutical companies. The company’s M&A and blockbuster product centric strategies have strengthened its sales and marketing capabilities. Enhanced commercial infrastructure has helped the company to attain the status of marketing partner of choice in the US. However, the impending generic attack on Lipitor, one of its blockbuster drugs, will affect the company’s sales growth rate in near future.

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Location of Factor






  • Strong sales and marketing infrastructure
  • Revived blockbuster credentials in recent years – Lyrica, Sutent and Chantix/Champix


  • ‘Victim of own success’ – subsequent overreliance on Lipitor franchise
  • Drought in blockbuster launches between 1999 and 2004 (masked by M&A activity)
  • Entrenchment in low growth therapy area markets such as CV and CNS
  • Very limited penetration of biologics market



  • Restructuring strategy designed to cut costs and create a leaner company
  • Funding available to facilitate product/company
  • Acquisitions and in-licensing/co-development opportunities
  • Expansion into biologics market


  • Considerable exposure to generic competition, focal point of which is Lipitor, due to lose patent exclusivity in 2011
  • Further large scale M&A activity could further decline Pfizer’s profitability
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