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Company > AstraZeneca: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

AstraZeneca: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Apr 15, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into AstraZeneca's business model, conduct a SWOT analysis, and explore its competitors in the year 2023. AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, has established itself as a key player in the healthcare industry, with a focus on research, development, and commercialization of innovative drugs. By analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, we will gain valuable insights into the company's current standing and future prospects. Additionally, we will examine the competitive landscape to understand the challenges AstraZeneca may face in the coming years.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns AstraZeneca and the importance of understanding its ownership structure in assessing its business operations and decision-making processes.
    • The mission statement of AstraZeneca and how it guides the company's overall objectives and strategic direction.
    • How AstraZeneca generates revenue and the key factors that contribute to its financial success, including its diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical products and strategic partnerships.
    • An in-depth explanation of AstraZeneca's business model canvas, highlighting the key components and their interrelationships that drive the company's value proposition and revenue streams.
    • Insight into the major competitors of AstraZeneca in the pharmaceutical industry and the factors that differentiate them from AstraZeneca.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of AstraZeneca, evaluating its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and providing an overall assessment of its competitive position in the market.

    Who owns AstraZeneca?

    Shareholders of AstraZeneca

    AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical company, has a diverse ownership structure with shareholders from around the world. The ownership of the company is distributed among various institutional investors, individual shareholders, and mutual funds. Let's take a closer look at the key stakeholders who own a significant portion of AstraZeneca's shares.

    Institutional Investors

    Institutional investors play a crucial role in owning substantial stakes in AstraZeneca. These investors typically include pension funds, insurance companies, and investment management firms. Some notable institutional investors that own a significant number of AstraZeneca shares include:

    1. BlackRock Inc.: As one of the world's largest investment management corporations, BlackRock Inc. holds a considerable stake in AstraZeneca. With their expertise and extensive portfolio, they have a significant influence on the company's overall ownership structure.

    2. Vanguard Group Inc.: Vanguard Group Inc. is another prominent institutional investor that holds a substantial number of AstraZeneca shares. Known for its passive investing approach, Vanguard Group Inc. spreads its holdings across various companies, including AstraZeneca.

    3. Capital Research and Management Company: Capital Research and Management Company is one of the oldest and largest investment management firms globally. They have a notable ownership interest in AstraZeneca, leveraging their expertise to shape the company's direction.

    Individual Shareholders

    Individual investors also play a significant role in owning shares of AstraZeneca. These shareholders include both retail investors and high net worth individuals who purchase shares through brokerage accounts or other investment platforms. While the ownership percentage of individual shareholders may not match that of institutional investors, their collective impact should not be underestimated.

    Mutual Funds

    Mutual funds are another crucial component of AstraZeneca's ownership structure. These investment vehicles pool money from multiple investors to invest in various stocks and securities. Some mutual funds that hold a significant stake in AstraZeneca include Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Schroder Investment Management.

    Government Ownership

    In some cases, government entities or sovereign wealth funds may hold shares in AstraZeneca. Such ownership may be aimed at supporting local industries, promoting economic growth, or aligning national interests. However, it's important to note that the level of government ownership in AstraZeneca can vary depending on the country and specific regulations.

    Changing Ownership Dynamics

    It is essential to recognize that ownership dynamics can change over time. Shareholders can buy or sell their holdings, leading to shifts in ownership percentages. Additionally, mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate actions can impact the ownership structure of AstraZeneca. Regular updates on ownership can be found in the company's annual reports and regulatory filings.

    Understanding the ownership of AstraZeneca provides valuable insights into the company's stakeholders and their influence on decision-making processes. By considering the diverse range of shareholders, it becomes clearer how AstraZeneca's strategic direction can be shaped by a multitude of interests, expertise, and perspectives.

    What is the mission statement of AstraZeneca?

    A Commitment to Improving Health and Well-being

    AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, is driven by a clear and steadfast mission statement that shapes its purpose and direction. The company's mission statement can be summed up as a commitment to improving health and well-being on a global scale.

    AstraZeneca's mission statement emphasizes its dedication to discovering, developing, and delivering innovative medicines that address unmet medical needs. The company strives to make a meaningful impact on patients' lives by providing them with access to safe and effective treatments that can improve their health outcomes.

    Furthermore, AstraZeneca's mission statement encompasses a broader focus on promoting overall well-being and advancing healthcare systems worldwide. The company recognizes the importance of collaborating with various stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, governments, and patient organizations, to achieve its mission. By working together, AstraZeneca aims to contribute to the development of sustainable healthcare solutions that benefit communities and societies across the globe.

    As part of its mission, AstraZeneca also places a strong emphasis on corporate responsibility. The company seeks to operate ethically, transparently, and with integrity in all aspects of its business. This commitment extends beyond its research and development efforts to include responsible marketing practices, environmental sustainability, and supporting diverse and inclusive workplaces.

    In summary, AstraZeneca's mission statement reflects its unwavering dedication to improving health and well-being. Through the discovery of innovative medicines, collaboration with stakeholders, and responsible business practices, the company strives to make a positive and lasting impact on the lives of patients and communities worldwide.

    How does AstraZeneca make money?

    Pharmaceutical Products

    AstraZeneca primarily generates its revenue through the sale of pharmaceutical products. As one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca offers a wide range of prescription drugs across various therapeutic areas. These include cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology, neuroscience, and gastrointestinal treatments, among others.

    The company invests heavily in research and development (R&D) to discover and develop innovative medicines. AstraZeneca's R&D efforts aim to address unmet medical needs and improve the overall quality of patient care. By constantly innovating and introducing new drugs to the market, AstraZeneca can maintain a lucrative revenue stream from the sale of its pharmaceutical products.

    Global Sales and Marketing

    AstraZeneca's pharmaceutical products are sold globally, allowing the company to tap into diverse markets worldwide. The company invests in robust sales and marketing strategies to promote its drugs to healthcare professionals, hospitals, and pharmacies. Through targeted initiatives, AstraZeneca aims to increase the adoption of its products and gain a larger market share.

    To ensure a widespread reach, AstraZeneca employs a combination of direct sales teams and partnerships with distributors. By leveraging its established sales network, the company can penetrate both developed and emerging markets, catering to the needs of patients across various regions.

    Collaborations and Licensing Agreements

    AstraZeneca also generates revenue through collaborations and licensing agreements with other pharmaceutical companies. These partnerships can involve various arrangements, such as joint development programs, co-promotion agreements, or licensing the rights to commercialize certain drugs.

    By collaborating with other industry players, AstraZeneca can access complementary expertise, technologies, or research platforms. This allows the company to expand its product pipeline and potentially accelerate the development of new treatments. Additionally, licensing agreements enable AstraZeneca to monetize its intellectual property by granting other companies the right to manufacture and sell its drugs in specific regions.

    External Funding and Grants

    Another source of income for AstraZeneca comes from external funding and grants. The company actively pursues opportunities to secure funding from government agencies, non-profit organizations, and research institutions. These funds can support AstraZeneca's R&D efforts, clinical trials, or collaborative projects.

    Public and private research grants play a vital role in advancing scientific knowledge and promoting innovation. AstraZeneca's ability to secure external funding not only provides financial support but also validates the importance of its research initiatives in the eyes of the scientific community and potential investors.


    AstraZeneca's revenue streams primarily revolve around the sale of pharmaceutical products, global sales and marketing efforts, collaborations and licensing agreements, as well as external funding and grants. By diversifying its income sources and investing in research and development, AstraZeneca continues to drive innovation in the pharmaceutical industry while maintaining a strong financial position.

    AstraZeneca Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to the Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that helps organizations visualize and analyze their business models. It provides a holistic view of how a company creates, delivers, and captures value. By using the canvas, companies can identify key components of their business and understand how they are interconnected.

    Key Components of AstraZeneca's Business Model Canvas

    AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company, has a business model built around innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. Let's dive into the key components of AstraZeneca's Business Model Canvas:

    Value Proposition

    AstraZeneca's value proposition revolves around improving patient outcomes and addressing unmet medical needs. The company focuses on developing innovative medicines and solutions that target diseases such as cancer, respiratory, and cardiovascular conditions. By delivering effective treatments and therapies, AstraZeneca aims to enhance the quality of life for patients worldwide.

    Customer Segments

    AstraZeneca serves a diverse range of customer segments, including healthcare professionals, patients, and payers. The company collaborates with physicians and healthcare providers to ensure its products are effectively prescribed and utilized. Additionally, AstraZeneca engages with patients and advocacy groups to understand their needs and provide support throughout their treatment journey. Payers, such as insurance companies and healthcare systems, also play a crucial role in AstraZeneca's customer segments as they assess the value and cost-effectiveness of the company's products.


    AstraZeneca has established multiple channels to reach its customer segments. These channels include direct sales teams, partnerships with healthcare providers, online platforms, and distribution networks. By leveraging a diverse range of channels, AstraZeneca can effectively communicate its value proposition and ensure its products are accessible to patients globally.

    Customer Relationships

    Building strong and lasting relationships with customers is a priority for AstraZeneca. The company invests in various initiatives to engage with healthcare professionals, patients, and payers. This includes educational programs, patient support services, and collaborations with advocacy groups. By fostering trust and providing ongoing support, AstraZeneca aims to establish itself as a reliable partner in the healthcare industry.

    Revenue Streams

    AstraZeneca generates revenue primarily through the sales of its pharmaceutical products. The company's extensive portfolio includes both patented and generic medicines, allowing it to cater to different market segments. Additionally, AstraZeneca may generate revenue through licensing agreements, partnerships, and collaborations with other pharmaceutical companies.

    Key Activities and Key Resources

    AstraZeneca's key activities revolve around research and development (R&D), clinical trials, manufacturing, and marketing. The company invests heavily in R&D to discover and develop new therapies and treatments. AstraZeneca also maintains state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to ensure the production of high-quality pharmaceuticals. Its marketing efforts involve promoting its products to healthcare professionals, patients, and payers.

    Key Partnerships

    Collaboration is a fundamental aspect of AstraZeneca's business model. The company forms strategic partnerships with academic institutions, research organizations, and other pharmaceutical companies. These partnerships enable AstraZeneca to leverage external expertise, access new technologies, and expand its product pipeline. By working together with various stakeholders, AstraZeneca aims to accelerate innovation and address complex healthcare challenges.

    Cost Structure

    AstraZeneca's cost structure encompasses R&D expenses, manufacturing costs, marketing and sales expenditures, and administrative overheads. Developing new drugs and conducting clinical trials require substantial investments in research and regulatory compliance. Manufacturing costs include the production and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Marketing and sales efforts involve promotional activities, sales force compensation, and market research. Administrative costs cover general operations and support functions.


    AstraZeneca's Business Model Canvas illustrates the company's commitment to improving patient outcomes, collaborating with stakeholders, and driving innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry. By understanding the interconnected components of its business model, AstraZeneca can adapt and evolve its strategies to meet the changing needs of patients and the healthcare landscape.

    Which companies are the competitors of AstraZeneca?

    Major Competitors

    AstraZeneca, a leading pharmaceutical company, operates in a fiercely competitive industry. Here are some major companies that are considered direct competitors of AstraZeneca:

    1. Pfizer: Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical giant, known for its wide range of products and significant market presence. The company competes with AstraZeneca in various therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, oncology, and respiratory diseases.

    2. Novartis: Novartis is another major player in the pharmaceutical industry, offering a diverse portfolio of innovative drugs. Similar to AstraZeneca, Novartis focuses on areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, and respiratory treatments, making them fierce competitors.

    3. Merck & Co.: Merck & Co., commonly known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, is a renowned pharmaceutical company. With a robust product line that includes vaccines, oncology drugs, and cardiovascular treatments, Merck & Co. competes directly with AstraZeneca in several therapeutic areas.

    Emerging Competitors

    Apart from the established players, AstraZeneca also faces competition from emerging companies that are making significant strides in the industry. Some notable emerging competitors include:

    1. Moderna: Moderna, a biotechnology company, gained prominence due to its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. Although specializing in vaccines, Moderna's success has positioned them as a potential competitor to AstraZeneca in the field of infectious diseases.

    2. Bristol Myers Squibb: Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is a global pharmaceutical company that focuses on oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular treatments. With a strong pipeline of innovative therapies, BMS presents a competitive challenge to AstraZeneca, particularly in the oncology space.

    3. Gilead Sciences: Gilead Sciences is well-known for its antiviral medications, notably its breakthrough hepatitis C treatments. As AstraZeneca expands its presence in infectious diseases, Gilead Sciences' expertise and portfolio make them a potential competitor in this therapeutic area.

    It is worth noting that the pharmaceutical industry is dynamic, with new competitors constantly emerging. This list represents some of the significant players that AstraZeneca faces in its quest to develop and market innovative drugs and treatments.

    AstraZeneca SWOT Analysis


    1. Strong brand reputation: AstraZeneca is a well-established and recognized pharmaceutical company with a strong presence in the global market. The company has built a reputation for delivering high-quality and innovative healthcare solutions.

    2. Diverse product portfolio: AstraZeneca has a wide range of products across various therapeutic areas, including cardiovascular, respiratory, oncology, and gastrointestinal. This diversified product portfolio helps the company cater to the needs of a diverse patient population.

    3. Robust research and development capabilities: AstraZeneca invests heavily in research and development, which has enabled the company to develop and launch breakthrough drugs. The company has a strong pipeline of potential blockbuster drugs, which positions it well for future growth.

    4. Global presence: AstraZeneca has a global footprint, with operations in over 100 countries. This global presence gives the company access to a large market and allows it to leverage local market insights and partnerships.


    1. Patent expirations: AstraZeneca has faced challenges with the expiration of patents for some of its key drugs. This has resulted in increased competition from generic manufacturers, leading to a decline in revenues.

    2. Limited presence in emerging markets: While AstraZeneca has a global presence, it has relatively limited penetration in emerging markets. This puts the company at a disadvantage compared to competitors who have successfully tapped into the growing healthcare markets in countries like China and India.

    3. Dependence on a few key products: AstraZeneca relies heavily on a few key products for a significant portion of its revenues. Any decline in sales of these products due to competition or patent expirations could have a significant impact on the company's financial performance.


    1. Expansion into emerging markets: AstraZeneca has the opportunity to expand its presence in emerging markets, where there is a growing demand for healthcare products. By focusing on these markets, the company can tap into new revenue streams and diversify its customer base.

    2. Collaborations and partnerships: AstraZeneca can explore collaborations and partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies or research institutions to enhance its research and development capabilities. Such collaborations can help accelerate the development of new drugs and increase the company's competitive advantage.

    3. Focus on personalized medicine: The growing trend towards personalized medicine presents an opportunity for AstraZeneca to develop targeted therapies that cater to specific patient populations. By investing in precision medicine, the company can differentiate itself from competitors and provide tailored solutions to patients.


    1. Intense competition: The pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive, with numerous companies vying for market share. AstraZeneca faces competition from both established pharmaceutical companies and emerging biotech startups. This competition can impact the company's market position and profitability.

    2. Increasing regulatory scrutiny: The pharmaceutical industry is subject to strict regulations and increasing scrutiny from regulatory bodies. Changes in regulations or failure to comply with existing regulations can have a negative impact on AstraZeneca's operations and product development.

    3. Pricing pressure: Healthcare systems and payers worldwide are increasingly focused on reducing healthcare costs. This puts pressure on pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, which can affect AstraZeneca's profitability and revenues.

    In conclusion, AstraZeneca has several strengths, such as a strong brand reputation, diverse product portfolio, robust research and development capabilities, and a global presence. However, the company also faces weaknesses, including patent expirations and limited presence in emerging markets. By capitalizing on opportunities like expanding into emerging markets, forming collaborations, and focusing on personalized medicine, AstraZeneca can address these weaknesses and continue to thrive in the face of threats like intense competition, regulatory scrutiny, and pricing pressure.

    Key Takeaways

    • AstraZeneca is a publicly traded multinational pharmaceutical company, so it is owned by its shareholders who hold its stock.
    • The mission statement of AstraZeneca is to improve the health and well-being of people around the world by providing innovative and effective pharmaceutical products.
    • AstraZeneca generates revenue primarily through the sale of its pharmaceutical products, including prescription drugs and vaccines.
    • The AstraZeneca Business Model Canvas provides a visual representation of the company's key activities, resources, partners, and value proposition, helping to understand how it creates and delivers value to its customers.
    • Some of the main competitors of AstraZeneca in the pharmaceutical industry include Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Merck & Co.
    • AstraZeneca's SWOT analysis reveals its strengths in research and development capabilities, a strong product portfolio, and a global presence, while also highlighting weaknesses, such as patent expirations, opportunities in emerging markets, and threats from generic competition and regulatory challenges.


    In conclusion, AstraZeneca is a multinational pharmaceutical company that is owned by its shareholders, with no single majority owner. The company's mission statement revolves around improving the health and well-being of people around the world. AstraZeneca generates revenue through the sale of prescription drugs and the licensing of intellectual property. By analyzing their business model canvas, we can see that AstraZeneca focuses on research and development, marketing, and sales to drive their success. However, they face competition from other pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis. Conducting a SWOT analysis of AstraZeneca reveals their strengths in innovative drug development, global presence, and strong brand reputation. Nevertheless, they also face weaknesses such as patent expirations and generic competition, as well as external threats like regulatory challenges and pricing pressures. Overall, AstraZeneca's commitment to improving healthcare and its strategic approach to the industry positions it as a key player in the pharmaceutical market.


    What is AstraZeneca company weakness?

    One of AstraZeneca's weaknesses is its dependence on a few key products for a significant portion of its revenue. For example, drugs like Crestor and Nexium accounted for a large portion of the company's sales, and when they faced patent expirations, it led to a decline in revenue. This reliance on a few products makes the company vulnerable to the loss of exclusivity and competition from generic drugs.

    Additionally, AstraZeneca has faced challenges in its drug development pipeline, with a number of potential blockbuster drugs failing in late-stage clinical trials. This has hindered the company's ability to bring new drugs to market and diversify its product portfolio.

    Furthermore, AstraZeneca has struggled with patent litigation and the expiration of patents, leading to increased competition from generic drug manufacturers. This has resulted in a loss of market share and reduced profitability for the company.

    Lastly, AstraZeneca has a relatively smaller presence in the emerging markets compared to some of its competitors. This limits its growth potential in these regions, where there is a growing demand for pharmaceutical products.

    Overall, while AstraZeneca is a leading pharmaceutical company, it faces weaknesses in terms of its dependence on key products, challenges in its drug development pipeline, patent litigation, and limited presence in emerging markets.

    What are the strengths of AstraZeneca company?

    AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company, has several strengths that contribute to its success:

    1. Broad portfolio: AstraZeneca has a diverse range of products across multiple therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, and immunology. This allows the company to address a wide range of patient needs and reduces its dependence on any single product.

    2. Focus on innovation: AstraZeneca invests significantly in research and development (R&D) to discover and develop new treatments. This commitment to innovation helps the company stay at the forefront of medical advances and develop novel therapies that can improve patient outcomes.

    3. Global presence: AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, providing it with a vast geographic reach. This global presence allows the company to access different markets, diversify its revenue streams, and adapt to changing market dynamics.

    4. Strong pipeline: The company has a robust pipeline of potential new drugs at various stages of development. This pipeline provides a future source of revenue growth and helps to replenish its product portfolio as existing patents expire.

    5. Collaborations and partnerships: AstraZeneca actively collaborates with academic institutions, research organizations, and other pharmaceutical companies. These partnerships help leverage combined expertise, resources, and capabilities to accelerate drug discovery and development processes.

    6. Commitment to sustainability: AstraZeneca has made sustainability a core part of its business strategy. The company focuses on reducing its environmental impact, improving access to healthcare in underserved communities, and promoting diversity and inclusion within its workforce.

    7. Strong financial performance: AstraZeneca has consistently delivered strong financial results, with increasing revenues and profitability. This financial stability allows the company to invest in R&D, expand its operations, and drive further growth.

    8. Strong brand recognition: AstraZeneca is a well-known and respected brand in the pharmaceutical industry. Its reputation for producing high-quality medicines and commitment to improving patient outcomes enhances its credibility and trust among healthcare professionals and patients.

    Overall, AstraZeneca's strengths lie in its diverse product portfolio, focus on innovation, global presence, strong pipeline, collaborations and partnerships, commitment to sustainability, strong financial performance, and brand recognition.

    What is the strategic plan of AstraZeneca?

    AstraZeneca's strategic plan is centered around its mission to improve the health and well-being of people worldwide. The company aims to achieve this by focusing on three strategic priorities:

    1. Science-led innovation: AstraZeneca emphasizes the importance of scientific research and innovation to develop groundbreaking medicines and therapies. The company invests heavily in research and development (R&D) to discover and develop innovative treatments for various diseases and conditions.

    2. Growth through targeted therapies: AstraZeneca focuses on delivering targeted therapies to address unmet medical needs in areas such as oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory conditions, and autoimmune disorders. It aims to develop personalized treatments that provide better outcomes for patients.

    3. Global expansion and commercial excellence: AstraZeneca seeks to expand its global reach by increasing its presence in emerging markets and strengthening its position in developed markets. The company aims to achieve commercial excellence by effectively marketing and selling its products, ensuring access to healthcare systems, and building strong partnerships with healthcare providers, payers, and patient organizations.

    Additionally, AstraZeneca has set several long-term sustainability goals, such as becoming carbon-neutral across its entire value chain by 2025, reducing water consumption, and minimizing waste generation. The company also focuses on promoting diversity, inclusion, and employee well-being as part of its strategic plan.

    What is the ranking of AstraZeneca?

    As of 2021, AstraZeneca is one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. It is ranked among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies globally based on revenue. AstraZeneca's ranking may vary depending on the specific criteria or year of evaluation.

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