SWOT Analysis: A Necessity in Publication planning

“The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.” 
Salman Rushdie

To ensure that data are clearly understood by the clinical community, transparent, timely, and scientifically rigorous, publications must be planned and executed. Strategic publication planning is an important component in organizing the successful product launch. Publication of a drug product must be appear in the right journal, in the appropriate context and at the right time. For the launching of product data, independent, peer-reviewed journals provide the most reliable environment, and to approach them requires a rigorous planning, which is particularly challenging process because these publications requires long timelines. The marketing management and clinical development teams first agree on publication goals, analyze the need of resources for the implementation of successful publication plan. But all these critical elements vary among organizations. The main focus of strategic publication planning is to accelerate the adoption and use of new drug product after it enters the market. The operational objectives of the publication plan is to confirm that the journals support the positioning and marketing policies for the product, reach of the data, maximize the frequency, speed up the time of publication, ensure that data is published in a timely manner to achieve the goals of product launch and prioritize publications to finally support the adoption of the product. For an effective publication planning, an effective infrastructure is necessary to support it. It is very important to identify, that publication should be published at a proper time, in appropriate journal with the appropriate message. In the context of publication planning, the strategic marketing plan (SMP) act as map for verbal branding and messages. The SMP helps in the development and implementation of the publication plan. SMP helps in the assessment of market evaluation, competitor analysis and needs. The major component in SMP that support the publication plan is SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), which acts as the basis for a comprehensive communications strategy.

Publication planning is critical to an effective communications strategy. A SWOT is a planning tool of strategic planning team that can be used to evaluate the various problems that you may face in undertaking publication of new drug product. A SWOT analysis guides in the evaluation of the positive and negative aspects of the drug product (S-W) and the opportunities and threats that may arise in the implementation of planned measures (O-T). Developing a full awareness of your situation can help with both strategic planning and decision-making. This is the first stage of strategic planning to identify the problems and draw the main objectives of reducing activity in drug consumption and trafficking.

Factors that have positive effect on performance of drug product are strengths. Examples include focusing on strong research and development capability with a highly productive product pipeline that generates safe and effective medicines for needy patients. Other strengths include number of highly competent personnel, understanding among employees towards publication goals, and continued improvement in quality.

Factors that affect impact or increase costs of the drug are weaknesses. Some examples are poor use of healthcare informatics, disruption in the continuity of results from poor communication and lack of financial resources. Weaknesses also raise other weaknesses. All these factors can increase costs and lower the quality of products. Opportunities are the new business advantages available for organization. These include collaboration among organizations, increased funding, to develop new drug products through community partnering, and improve the quality and efficacy through the introduction of new protocols. Factors that could harm the drug are considered as threats. Examples include economic or political insecurity, available competitors in the mark, budget deficits on state and federal level, and increased pressure for reduction in drug costs.

Important Steps for SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is a flexible tool, but it involves a lot of subjective decision at every stage. It is an iterative process and can be used as a guide rather than as a prescription. The SWOT analysis work into four major steps.

  • The first step of SWOT analysis in involves the collection and assessment of key data, which might include the community’s health status, present status of available drug products. Once the correct data has been collected and evaluated, the capabilities of the manufacturing company are evaluated.
  • In the second step of SWOT, the collected data is divided into four categories, e, SWOT.
  • In the third step of SWOT analysis in healthcare involves developing a SWOT environment for publication planning that is under consideration.
  • Fourth step of SWOT analysis is to include the derived analysis into the decision-making process as it determines which option will best suit the overall strategic plan for the publication of drug product (Figure).Fig.2


Practically, every pharmaceutical company can benefit from SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is performed by the management team of the entity, at best outside the company and away from the hectic pace of daily operations in an informal and relaxing environment. SWOT analysis can be particularly effective if people are open, self-critical, realistic and honest to themselves when it comes to identifying and defining strengths and weaknesses. If the company deals with large number of drugs, single SWOT analysis will not capture all of the relevant strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that exist across the span of the company’s operations. So comprehensive review of the healthcare literature, data analysis, and input from a panel of SWOT analysis experts is necessary for successful product launch.

Abhishek Kumar

Dr. Shivali Arora

Knowledge Isotopes is a medical communications company that works like an integrated team to the clients and become their growth partners. Please get back to us for medical writing services and customized medical communication services. Feel free to reach me at shivali.arora@knowledgeisotopes.com for details.

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