According to new report, published by the Freedonia Group, the world wide demand for pharmaceutical packaging is set to rise to 5.9 % annually to over $34 billion in 2011 and $45billion by 2016

  • Primary pharmaceutical container demand will approach $24 billion in 2011
  • Closures & accessories demand to exceed $10 billion in 2011

Sophisticated drug products, stringent government requirements and more prominent players with new emerging markets have increased the demand for pharmaceutical packaging material. According to the  new report, published by the Freedonia Group, the  Western Europe countries, the US and Japan will account for 75 percent of the growth due to the presence of the most advanced drug producing sectors.

The US is the largest consumer of pharmaceutical packaging as new sophisticated therapies with specialized packaging needs are introduced. Growth in West European demand reflects upgraded government standards requiring unit dose, high barrier and anti-counterfeit packaging for many types of medication.  Sales of pharmaceutical packaging in Japan will grow as the government has relaxed drug price controls and its greater penetration in export market.

China will offer growth opportunities based on rapidly expanding pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and the phasing-in of an extensive government program designed to upgrade the quality and integrity of nationally produced medicines. Among other key developing economies, India and Brazil will become rapid growth markets as drug-producing sectors are upgraded and diversified.

Blister packaging is expected to continue its favourable growth rate, driven by its adaptability to unit dose, clinical trial and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs among others. 

Primary closures are expected to grow at a slightly lower rate, with demand increasing at 4.5 per cent annually to $10.6bn by 2011 ($13.2bn by 2016).

Growth in global demand for primary pharmaceutical containers will be paced by prefillable inhalers and prefillable syringes, which will generate the fastest growth opportunities among all pharmaceutical packaging products based on performance advantages in drug delivery and the introduction of new bioengineered medicines.

Plastic bottles will sustain the largest share of global demand based on low cost, versatility, availability, and ongoing quality and design improvements. Expanding applications in both solid and liquid oral medications will create above average growth opportunities for these containers, especially in the US and developing countries.

Pharmaceutical blister packaging will exhibit favorable growth in global demand based on adaptability to unit dose, clinical trial, compliance, institutional and over-the-counter drugs. Advances in the changeover features of processing machinery will also benefit growth by making blister packaging more cost-efficient in small volume drug applications.

Equipment upgrades, coupled with trends favoring unit dose packaging, will also boost demand for pouches and strip packs.

Stricter government and industry standards covering the safety, security and ease of use features of drug containers wil lead to increase in demand of Closures & accessories to $10 billion. Sales of dispensing closures will increase favorably as drug makers adapt medication to high value added delivery systems. Stepped up efforts by medical groups to improve patient drug compliance will boost the market for high visibility labels as well as that for high value-added prescription containers, such as D-back vials.

There are currently around 2,000 companies in the pharmaceutical packaging business around the world.  28 percent of the 2006 market was held by just eight of these companies: MeadWestvaco, Amcor, Owens-Illinois, Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services, Becton Dickinson, Gerresheimer Holdings, Alcan and Schott.