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GlaxoSmithKline SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52166353| May 2018

COMPANY PROFILE -GlaxoSmithKline Plc

Business Sector :Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Healthcare

Operating Geography :United Kingdom, Global

About GlaxoSmithKline Plc :

GlaxoSmithKline is a British pharmaceuticals and healthcare company headquartered in Brentford, UK. GSK has three major businesses namely pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. The company’s goal as per their annual report is to “be one of the world’s most innovative, best performing and trusted healthcare companies”.

GlaxoSmithKline Plc Revenue :

£30.2 billion (FY ending 31st Dec 2017)

Competitive Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline Plc

The SWOT analysis for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is presented below:
1. Developed a competitive advantage through consumer-centric, science-based innovation
2. Leadership in key Over-the-Counter (OTC) and oral health segments
3. Global sales and marketing infrastructure
1. GSK’s brand image being affected by the health care settlements in the US and bribery charges
1. Favorable demographic and economic trends
2. Growth opportunity in the vaccines business
3. Growth opportunity in the HIV and infectious disease business
4. Opportunities in the emerging markets driven by the increasing awareness about healthcare needs
1. Intense competition from Generic drugs
2. Drug pricing controls leading to cost containment pressures
3. Challenges with emerging markets
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline Plc


1. Developed a competitive advantage through consumer-centric, science-based innovation: GSK has developed a competitive advantage over the years through research & development capabilities which has driven product expansion and is one of its major strengths. GSK is committed towards technological innovation keeping the consumer in the focus. This is evident from their R&D investments which accounted to £3.6 billion in 2016. The R&D budget was allocated across their three businesses on six core areas (respiratory diseases, HIV and infectious diseases, etc). The R&D success is evident from the fact that currently, they have 14 candidate vaccines for a range of diseases. In addition to their internal R&D team, GSK has external partnerships and collaborations with 1500 academic bodies, biotechs and other pharmaceutical companies which have helped them over the years to formulate a strong basis for research and development. The increased focus on product development helps GSK to strengthen its market position and helps them in maintaining a robust product pipeline.

2. Leadership in key Over-the-Counter (OTC) and oral health segments: GSK is a market leader in key OTC and healthcare categories and segments. Leading products in OTC segment include Voltaren - #1 in global pain market, Theraflu - #1 in global respiratory market and Eno which is #3 in global digestive health market. The company’s oral health segment offers products such as Sensodyne - #1 in global sensitivity, Pardontax - #1 in gum health and Poligrip which is #1 in global denture. The continued success of these products has given GSK a strong footprint across several markets.

3. Global sales and marketing infrastructure: GSK has maintained a global footprint and is considered as one of the most prominent prescription pharmaceutical companies worldwide. They are present in 150+ markets. The global footprint has a dual advantage; firstly it helps the company with their strategic expansion in emerging markets and secondly, it enables GSK to go in for co-development and other collaborations with other industry stakeholders.


1) GSK’s brand image being affected by the health care settlements in the US and the bribery charges against them: GSK has been involved in many legal issues in the recent past. The company has been reported on several grounds regarding information related to safety data, false price reporting practices, illegally promoting antidepressants, etc. In 2012, the company entered a settlement with the US government which is supposedly the largest settlement in the pharmaceutical world where GSK ended up paying a fine of $3 billion ($1 billion in criminal fines and $2 billion to resolve the civil liabilities). Although it has been five years since the incident, the thing that makes the issue still relevant is the fact that the case was levied against Paxil and Wellbutrin, GSK’s best-selling antidepressants. The non-monetary impact of such settlements is long-term, and the companies tend to take a major hit on their brand image which certainly was the case with GSK as well.

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Check out analysis of other relevant companies

References used in GlaxoSmithKline Plc Analysis Report
1) GSK Annual Report:

2) GSK Annual Report Asset:

3) Statnews: diabetes/

4) NYTimes:

5) Business Standard:

6) Economic Times:

Copyrights and Disclaimer

GlaxoSmithKline SWOT analysis has been conducted by Mahakpreet Singh Bhatia and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

Copyright of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) SWOT and PESTLE Analysis is the property of Barakaat Consulting. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions page for usage guidelines.
GlaxoSmithKline SWOT & PESTLE Analysis
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