Convenience, safety and cost advantages are driving growth in the plastic ampoules market, which is projected to achieve a compound annual rate of 8.3% through 2027, according to a report from Transparency Market Research (Albany, NY). The global market for plastic ampoules was valued at approximately $186.6 million in 2019, according to the market research company.
Plastic is increasingly replacing glass in ampoule production, especially in emerging economies, and not just because of cost considerations, writes Transparency Market Research. “Plastic as a material offers many advantages compared with glass,” notes the report. “Plastic ampoules provide greater design flexibility [and] higher dimensional accuracy in manufacturing.”
When produced through blow molding, the ampoules can be filled in a single process. This is currently the preferred method and will achieve 7.6% CAGR, according to the report. However, production is limited to 10,000 ampoules per hour using this process. Injection molding requires a second step, because the molded parts are transferred to another station for filling, but the process is more flexible than blow molding, as it can accommodate small batches as well as full-scale production capacities of approximately 15,000 ampoules per hour. According to the report, injection molding is expected to gain traction since it is less expensive than blow molding while offering equal or better throughput.
Consumers prefer unit-dose parenteral packaging over multi-dose systems, driving growth of plastic ampoules in the marketplace. In the United States, unit-dose plastic ampoules account for almost one-quarter of all pharmaceutical packaging, according to the report.
Opening the packaging is simple and does not require tearing or cutting—the user simply snaps off the neck of the vial—an attribute that is appreciated by an aging population.
Single-use packaging also prevents waste, which can be a significant factor with costly pharmaceutical products.
There are several safety advantages to plastic-based ampoules. To ensure the integrity of the pharmaceutical product, the thin top of the plastic ampoule is hermetically heat sealed. Compared with glass vials, plastic ampoules can be stored and transported easily and the material’s crack resistance ensures safe, spill-proof transit of medicines, notes the report.
China is projected to be the most attractive market for plastic ampoules through 2027, followed by Germany and United States, where growth will be slower because of the maturity of their markets.
The report is available for purchase on the Transparency Market Research website.
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