An Introduction To The Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals


02 Nov 2017

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AstraZeneca pharmaceutical is a rapidly leading growing company that has branches in several countries. This company was formed on 6 April 1999 through the merger of Astra AB of Sweden and Zeneca Group PLC of the UK – two companies with similar science-based cultures and a shared vision of the pharmaceutical industry. It is a company fully focused on single purpose, to enable the people life altering condition to live better lives. It has a portfolio of products for major diseases like cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation. The motto of the company is to build a significant difference to patient throughout great medicines that bring do good to for patients and add value for stakeholders and society.

Product market characteristics

AstraZeneca is an innovative driven biopharmaceutical global business that supplies their products in more than 100 countries. In many countries, it manufactures the products while also export products to countries where they do not have manufacturing operations. With the aim to be success, AstraZeneca has developed flexible marketing strategies to market and distributes its products in local areas of emerging market. The company focuses the skills and resources in six important areas of health care. It discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription pharmaceutical on the areas which include cardiovascular, cancer, infection, gastrointestinal, respiratory and inflammation. AstraZeneca is providing medicines for these world’s serious diseases.

Now a day, people of every country is suffering from different type of bacterial infection. The death rate in developing country due to inflectional diseases is also increasing due to lack of appropriate medicine. There is a high demand of antibiotic medicine around the world in developing countries as well as in developed countries.

Performance of AstraZeneca

The performance at AstraZeneca is committed to achieve the financial and strategic objectives at the same time as maintaining the core values as the number one priority in counting to bring the best products to market all over the world. Research and Development is a key competitive advantage for this company. Without R&D AstraZeneca could not have become the global leading biopharmaceutical company. The revenue of the company in 2009 was increased by 7% as well as new emerging markets businesses grew strongly by 12% revenue in constant currency time. There was improved in efficiency throughout the organization and some extra gains within other income. Although company revenue growth is slowing down due to continuous pressure on healthcare costs and pricing as well as vast competition from generic medicines, the demand for health care will derive the company future growth remain strong. (AstraZeneca Annual report 2009)

2.0 International marketing planning

According to McDonald, marketing planning is "a structured way of identifying a range of options for the company, of making them explicit in writing, of formulating marketing objectives which are consistent with the company’s overall objectives and of scheduling and costing out the specific activities most likely to bring about the achievement of the objectives."(L S Walsh, International Marketing, third edition)

2.1 Internal and External environment

Internal or micro environment

       The micro-environment consists of stakeholder groups that a company has regular dealings with. The way these relationships develop can affect the costs, quality and overall success of a business. The factors of micro environment includes:


  AstraZeneca depends on the basis of meeting the requirements, wants and providing benefits for their customers. Failure to meet that needs will result in a failed business strategy.


 Employing the right staff in a right place and keeping these staff motivated is an essential part of the strategic planning process of a AstraZeneca. Training and development plays an vital role particular in every sector marketing in-order to receive a competitive edge. The success is due to the 62,000 people they employ in their businesses.


 It is the responsibility of the AstraZeneca to meet the expectation of Shareholder and perception. This company is trying its best to fulfill its strategy so that they can make shareholders happy and they can meet shareholder’sexpectation.


When dealing with the marketing environment it is important for a company to become proactive. By doing so, they can create the types of environment that they will prosper in and can become more efficient by marketing in areas with the greatest customer potential. It is important to place equal emphasis on both the macro and microenvironment and to react accordingly to changes within them.

External or macro environment

There are many factors in the macro-environment that will effect the decisions of the managers of any organisation. Tax changes, new laws, trade barriers, demographic change and government policy changes are all examples of macro change. We can use PEST model to analyses these change .

The PEST analysis examines changes in the marketplace caused by Political, Economic, Social, Technological factors. Political is political change whether it be through the European Union or the UK, from one party to another in control. Economic influences are the level of interest rates and the level of inflation. Social change involves changing attitudes and lifestyles. Technological change creates opportunities to invest in new products cutting costs.

Political factors

The government can have a major pressure on the eating out industry, as all laws are passed all the way through parliament. The types of laws that can have an effect on the eating out industry are, tariffs on imports, a possible raise in value added tax and latest health and safety laws, and also there is the possible introduction of laws from the European Union. So government regulations and legal issues have a straight impact on the way AstraZeneca operates. The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution. The equivalent body of law is based on statute, common law, and "traditional rights." Changes may come about formally through new acts of Parliament, informally through the acceptance of new practices and usage, or by judicial precedents. UK remains the leading international financial sector but was affected by the recent financial crisis.

In result of growing awareness of the environmental consequences, U.K Government is planning actions to ensure aviation reflects its environmental impacts. Proposals are emerging for a tax on aviation, fuel and VAT on air tickets. Government’s taxation policies and decision about the increase in the petrol prices have affected the buying power of the individuals in U.K.

All of the above have a rise in costs so prices may go up in order to pass the costs onto the consumer.

Economical factors

UK is a developed countries with the world’s sixth largest economy by it nominal GDP. It was the world’s first industrialised countries.

P. Mathias, The First Industrial Nation: the Economic History of Britain, 1700-1914 (London: Routledge, 2nd edn., 2001)

The UK is a developed country and has a partially regulated free market economy. It is the sixth largest economy in the world by its GDP but due to recession all over the world it economies remains relatively low. , the economy had shrunk by 4.9%, making the 2008-2009 recession the longest since records began. ( BBC News 30-03-2010)

UK governments have moved away from supporting manufacturing and focused on the financial sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has decreased by a (second revision) figure of 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2009, after a decrease of 0.6 per cent in the second quarter, according to office for national statistics. Unemployment rate has also been increased.

Social factors

Social factors will include the demographic changes, trends in the way people live, work and think and cultural aspects of the macro environment. Due to immigration from different countries, there is mix culture and religion in the country. Most people are living in high standard level.

Technological factors

The United Kingdom has played a vital role in the advancement of technology. There is sophisticated transportation as well as communication system. Since it is a developed country, there are lots of colleges and universities in the country. Many students from abroad also come to study in UK for better education. Technology can reduce costs, improve quality and lead to innovation. These developments can benefit consumers as well as the organisations providing the products

2.2 SWOT Factors

SWOT factors refer to the strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threats of the company.

The main strengths of AstraZeneca are its brands. It has a capacity to distribute the potential of active and future products throughout the power and reach of a cooperative global sales and marketing resources. It has a broad extend class coverage in key therapy part such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases due to complementary nature of product. It is determined on continuously developing new products to expectations. Since it is a global industry it is a member of many organisations all over the world.

The world population has double in the last 50 years from three billion to over six billion and is likely to get to nine billion by 2050. In addition, the numbers of people who can access the utmost standards of healthcare continue to rise, mainly among the elderly, who signify a rising proportion of populations in developed nations and keep on to offering opportunities for the industry to contribute an expanding number of patients who can take an advantage from medicines.

Currently, the threat of new viable competitors in the global industry is not very substantial. The main rivals of the company are GlaxoSmithKline plc, Merck & Co.Inc, Novartis AG. The threat of substitutes, however, is a very real threat. The UK, and especially London, has been a prime target of the religious fundamentalists and terrorist outfits. London and other cities in the UK have been frequently under high alert since9/11 in general and after the war in Iraq in particular.

Although all organisations have strengths and weaknesses no organisation is equally strong in all areas. The strength and weakness can be changed over a time therefore it must be closely monitored.

2.3 Marketing goals and objectives

The main objectives of the company is to be the world’s largest pharmaceuticals company and to build a significant difference to patient all the way through great medicines that bring do good to for patients and add value for stakeholders and society. Boosting efforts to source improvement from outside the company and working in partnerships across all aspects of R&D to broaden the base for a success.

2.4 Market analysis

Now a day, people of every country is suffering from different type of bacterial infection. The death rate in developing country due to inflectional diseases is also increasing due to lack of appropriate medicine. The demand for health care is more in every country so the company’s future is bright and growth remains strong. Population are increasing and people are living longer. There is a high demand of antibiotic medicine around the world in developing countries as well as in developed countries. Although this company has its market in different countries, there are more countries where this company can gain its market. So, I have a target to provide medicines for inflectional diseases in new market. Merrem/Meronem (meropenen) is an ultra broad spectrum injectable antibiotic for a wide variety of serious infections, including meningitis and pneumonia.

To meet the goals of the company even though it has its market in more than 100 countries, being an international manager of the company I would like to enter into other new market. So, first of all I am going to research the business environment of the country. I have chosen four countries Singapore, Bangladesh, Sri lanka and New Zealand. By doing PEST analysis of these countries I would choose the best one for my new market.



Political factors

Economical factors

Socio cultural factors

Technological factors

Demographic factors


Political condition is stable as there is parliament republic ,English law is accepted

Highly developed and free market economy and GDP rate is also higher than other developed countries.

Mix of culture and education is the main instrument

Excellent transportation, communication system

Population is less than other three contries ,total area is 756950sqkm


political condition is not stable,

Poor economic condition due to recession

Different types of languages and religions, health standard is improving

Modern communication system and advanced road system

7thhighest population in the world

Sri lanka


Developing country, estimated GDP growth rate is 3.5%

Various languages and religion, multi ethnic countries

Sophisticated transportation&communication services

Population is estimated 20,238,000

New Zealand

Free market economy, can compete globally

Modern, Prosperous and high standard of living

Rich in culture, different religious

Excellent technological factors services

Population is 43677000.

Source: Wikipedia of all countries

According to PEST analysis, I found New Zealand and Singapore are the strong country than Bangladesh and Sri lanka in every aspect. Among these two countries I am going to choose New Zealand for new market for my product.

New Zealand is one of the prosperous and high living standard countries. Political environment is stable so there is no difficulty for the survive of businesses. Since 99% of people are educated they are aware about their health and they demand for better healthcare. The average life expectancy is 80 years, as people live longer they suffer from different diseases. Today, different types of diseases are spread all over the world and the climate is also becoming worst due to global warming. We don’t know what is going to happen where so we need to be attention from any forth coming disaster. That is why there is a high demand for antibiotic medicines in every country. This company has market in over 100 countries we are planning to get the market of other countries as well. So, I am going to New Zealand to introduce my product Merrem/Meronem (meropenen) which fights against different types of inflectional diseases.

3.0 Market Entry Strategy

There are different methods of entering an overseas market which are linked to different modes, different amounts of risk or costs. Expansion of business into international market can be done through following mechanisms which are discussed below.


Joint Venture (franchising, licensing)

Foreign Direct Investment

Export: It is a traditional and well established method of market entry to foreign markets. This method is less expensive as we don’t have to establish new company in other market but have to find distributor for my product.

Joint venture: In this type the two or more companies in different countries agree to perform the business and share the profit and bear the losses. Nowadays this method is famous as there is low risk and burden is divided. Joint venture can be done in two ways: licensing and franchising.

Licensing: It is a wide range of agreements relating to the sale or leasing of industrial or commercial expertise by one party to other in returns for valuable considerations.

Franchising: it is a form of licensing by which the franchiser provides a standard enclose of mechanism or ingredients simultaneously through management and marketing services. The franchisee provides capital, market knowledge and personal involvement.

Foreign Direct Investment: It is the direct ownership of facilities in the targeted country. It is the 100%investment in that country. It can be done by acquisition of existing company in the targeted country.

3.1 Advantages and disadvantages of market entry methods





Less expensive, minimize investment, efficiency as there is speed entry.

Limits access to local information and market, transportation cost may be high, risk of exchange rate of currency

joint venture

Low risk, less investment required, overcomes ownership and cultural distances

Conflict between two parties, differences in cultures and management styles

Foreign direct investment

Greater knowledge of the market, 100% control, gives the company fully protection

Higher risk than other methods, lack of managerial skills as well as ,expensive,

As shown above, each strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages; the choice of the strategy depends on company willingness to accept risk and claims for control return. Although exporting method is easy way for entering into a new market with low cost and risks but the company gets a low return and have a less control over the marketing activities in exporting markets. ( Viktor Tielmann, Market Entry Strategies: International Marketing Management)

I am going to choose a joint venture method for entering a new market. As I am going in international market, in my opinion, it is easier to find a partner from that country because he/she is familiar with the business environment of that country. For the extension of our business in New Zealand, we have planned to go there and visit Pharmaceutical society which is the professional association of pharmacy practice.

4.0 Implementing marketing plan

Marketing planning is an essential process ensuring that defined strategy may be successfully implemented and that the infrastructure required to meet the corporate and marketing objectives are set in a place. Planning provides specific directions, activities and timetables and creates pathways to achieving competitive advantages. The marketing planning usually involves 4P’s which have been discussed below:





Product: My product for a new market is Merrem/Meronem (meropenen) which fights against different types of inflectional diseases.

Price: We are providing affordable prices for our product which can be afford by every level of people in that country.

Place: There are many pharmaceuticals in different parts of that country so I have planned to get agreement with some of the pharmaceuticals and distribute medicines to them.

Promotion: I have planned give advertisement in local news paper and television as well as distribute leaflets to get market for my product.



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