Pharma packaging demand to reach US$18.5bn by 2014

Published: 22-Oct-2010

Prefillable syringes expected to show highest growth in primary pharmaceutical containers in US

Demand for pharmaceutical packaging in the US (including Puerto Rico) is forecast to increase 5.5% annually to US$18.5bn by 2014, a report by The Freedonia Group in the US has revealed.

Recently upgraded regulations and standards that address barrier protection, infection control, patient drug compliance, drug dispensing errors, and drug diversion and counterfeiting will boost demand for high value-added containers and accessories, including enhanced barrier plastic bottles, calendar and wallet blister packaging, prefillable syringes and inhalers, track and trace and authentication labels, and unit dose pouches.

These and other trends are presented in the Pharmaceutical Packaging study from the Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Demand for primary pharmaceutical containers will increase 5.2% annually to US$11.3bn in 2014, with prefillable syringes expected to show the highest growth owing to advances in biotechnology and new therapies that must be injected, the report finds.

In spite of below average growth, plastic bottles will remain the most widely used package for oral drugs distributed in bulk and prescription dose volumes to retail and mail order pharmacies. They will also continue to dominate applications in OTC medicines sold in tablet and capsule quantities of 50 or more.

Pharmaceutical blister packaging will grow based on its adaptability to unit dose formats with expanded label content, high visibility, and built-in track and trace features, the report finds.

The market for pharmaceutical pouches will expand at a fast pace, spurred on by increasing applications in the unit dose packaging of transdermal patches, powders for reconstitution, and topical creams and ointments.

Prefillable inhalers will also command strong growth opportunities as the number of chronic asthma, allergy and migraine patients treated with inhalation drugs rises.

Ongoing improvements in aesthetic and barrier properties will keep tubes a leading primary container for topical medication.

According to the report, pharmaceutical closures will comprise a US$3bn US market in 2014, up 5.5% annually from 2009.

Vial stoppers, syringe tips and plastic flip-top vial closures will command strong growth as injectable bioengineered drugs broaden emergency care and chronic disease indications.

Meanwhile, push-and-turn child-resistant caps will remain the top closures for oral and liquid drug containers, but will lose growth momentum as blister packs and pouches penetrate unit dose applications.

Due to the trend towards smaller-sized pharmaceutical shipments, folding cartons will show faster growth in demand among pharmaceutical manufacturers than corrugated shipping boxes.

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