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Nano-enabled pharma packaging market to double by 2014

A recent report from iRap Inc. says that, while nanotechnology is about very small materials, the impact it will have on pharmaceutical packaging will be very large, growing 16.5% annually, from 2009's $3.8 billion to $8.1 billion by 2014. Nano-enabled blister packaging alone will be a $2.1 billion market by then.

The report says new drug delivery systems and biochemical compounds are driving a need for enhanced moisture, light, oxygen, and mechanical protection, as well as forms of packaging that play a more integral role in the drug delivery process. Functionalities include enhanced plastic material barriers, active components that offer functions beyond those currently offered, and the sensing and signaling of relevant information.

The iRap report is titled PH-101 Nano-Enabled Packaging for the Pharmaceutical Industry - A Global Technology, Industry, and Market Analysis. It asserts that demand for pharma blister packaging will grow as it adapts to unit dosage, clinical trials, compliance, institutional and OTC drugs, and that improved changeover features in processing machinery will make it more cost-efficient in smaller-volume products.

The hottest growth opportunities in pharma packaging, says iRap, will be in pre-fillable inhalers and syringes due to performance advantages in drug delivery and the emerging bioengineered medicines. Pharmaceutical closures and accessories growth will be led by child-resistant, senior-friendly, and dispensing closures, along with tamper-evident and anti-counterfeit tech.

The U.S. and Europe will remain the largest consumers of pharma packaging. Japan's share of the Asian market is expected to decrease, says the report, owing to India evolving as a high-growth market, especially for generic drugs. Growth opportunities in China will be strong, due to rapidly expanding pharma manufacturing there, and the phasing-in of a government program to upgrade quality and integrity of domestically made medicines. [email protected]

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