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Peering inside pharmaceutical packaging growth

Demand for pharmaceutical packaging in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) is forecast to increase 5.3% annually to $18.5 billion in 2014. Driving this growth will be recently upgraded regulations and standards that address such issues as barrier protection, infection control, patient drug compliance, drug dispensing errors, and drug diversion and counterfeiting.

Demand for pharmaceutical packaging in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico) is forecast to increase 5.3% annually to $18.5 billion in 2014. Driving this growth will be recently upgraded regulations and standards that address such issues as barrier protection, infection control, patient drug compliance, drug dispensing errors, and drug diversion and counterfeiting. These factors will boost demand for high value-added containers and accessories said the newest report from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Demand for primary pharmaceutical containers will increase 5.2% annually to $11.3 billion in 2014, with the fastest growth projected for prefillable syringes, which will expand applications as advances in biotechnology lead to the introduction of new therapies that must be injected. Plastic bottles will remain the most widely used package for oral drugs distributed in bulk and prescription does volumes to retail and mail order pharmacies.

Plastic containers will also continue to dominate applications in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines sold in tablet and capsule quantities of 50 or more, said The Freedonia Group report. Pharmaceutical blister packaging will derive growth based on its adaptability to unit-dose formats with expanded label content, high visibility, and built-in track-and-trace features. 

The market for pharmaceutical pouches will expand at a fast pace, spurred by increasing applications in the unit dose packaging of transdermal patches, powders for reconstitution, and topical creams and ointments. Ongoing improvements in aesthetic and barrier properties will keep tubes a leading primary container for topical medication. 

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

Closures for pharmaceutical containers will comprise a $3 billion U.S. 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 in emergency care and chronic disease indications. 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. [email protected]

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