Demand for plastic packaging is witnessing significant growth from the pharmaceutical industry in the forecast period because of its unmatched ability to be form both flexible and rigid containers. Additional features that led increased adoption in pharma is barrier against moisture, high dimensional stability, high impact strength, resistance to strain, low water absorption, transparency, resistance to heat and flame, and extension of expiry dates.
- Pharmaceutical product demand is driving the demand for plastic bottles. In adherence to such growth packaging providers have been observed to have increased their production capacities. According to Gerresheimer, in December 2019, it opened a new production site to help bolster the production capacity, due to the high demand for its Triveni round containers that are used in pharmaceutical packaging.â€‹
- Pre-pandemic COVID-19, the industry led the growth concerning the allied growth reported in e-commerce industry, which caused an increased interest in sustainable materials and packaging formats for pharma delivery.
- Post-pandemic, there has been a continued surge in demand for pharmaceutical packaging such as containers, cans, among others. Additionally, with the need for biologics and vaccines, the packaging companies are witnessed investing in the sterile format whilst expanding their production capacity.
- In the near future, the development of better and more advanced healthcare infrastructure, coupled with the growth of pharmaceutical companies through alliances and partnerships (to maintain a stronghold, domestically and internationally), is set to boost the growth of the pharmaceutical plastic packaging market.
- Furthermore, the new regulations restricting the sale and availability of cough syrups has led to market for plastic packaging in the pharmaceutical sector to be negatively affected. Cough syrups like Robitussin A.C., Dimetapp-C, and acetaminophen with codeine are sedating pain relievers packaged in plastic containers.
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Key Market Trends
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- It is expected that pharma packaging will shift towards more sustainable materials by moving away from the plastic, which the industry traditionally has been heavily dependent on for design and manufacturing. But, the industry would continue the application of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) owing to its capability of breaking down its molecular level back into PET.
- For instance, in March 2020, Amcor developed a new bottle to pack multivitamin. The material used for the same was post consumer regrind (PCR). PCR comprises recycled materials including PET beverage bottles used by the consumer and have been recycled to produce a new product.
- As of January 2020, Gerresheimer is also expected to further expand its operations in Asia via two plants in China and India to manufacture plastic primary packaging for pharmaceutical products. Such steps are undertaken in order to maintain a steady supply to pharma companies. The facilities cater to production of standard range of different containers and closures, PET bottles, eye droppers, nasal sprays, and vaporizers as well as multiple customizations.
North America Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- North America is home to leading pharmaceutical companies in the world. The companies like Abott, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson have their headquarters in the US and Canada with manufacturing facilities around the globe. These companies for many of their were catering to the US market from offshore manufacturing facilities where they packaged.
- But the COVID 19 pandemic has shown the downside of offshore manufacturing and the US government in its statement on 26 May 2020, emphasized onshore production of pharma drug's and soon going to bring â€œBuy Americanâ€ order , which result in these big companies shifting the production of the key drugs back to US where they will also be packaged. This expected have a significant impact of plastic packaging market in the future.
- The United States will continue to be the largest national pharmaceutical plastic packaging market as its advanced drug-producing sector commercializes new sophisticated therapies with specialized packaging needs. Advances in pharmaceutical packaging in the country are focused on improving the barrier properties of the packaging material.
- As people are becoming more health conscious and adopting a healthy lifestyle in Canada, the sale of a pharmaceutical drug is increasing. This makes the sales of pharmaceutical plastic packaging products, such as solid containers, vials, pouches, etc. There is a need for constant innovation as stringent regulations by agencies, such as the FDA, require manufacturers to comply with stringent regulations while packaging drugs in the region.
While the pharmaceutical plastic packaging market is fragmented, established companies are focusing on innovation and acquisition. Companies are investing a large amount of their resources and money in the R&D to innovate new products meeting with the environment and government compliance. Key players are Amcor Limited, AptarGroup, Inc., Gerresheimer AG, etc. Recent developments are -
- Dec 2019 - Gerresheimer AG announced the expansion of its production capacity for plastic containers and opened a new plant in India. A second production site is now being opened in the city of Kosamba to help bolster production capacity to cope with the high demand for Triveni round containers.
- Oct 2019 - Berry Global Group, Inc. partnered with Digimarc Corporation to promote innovation in recycling with holygrail 2.0 initiative. The company is likely to manufacture plastic packaging containing Digimarc Barcode for use in product sortation. It has pledged for all of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.â€‹
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