US demand to reach $21.9 billion in 2018
Demand for pharmaceutical packaging products in the US will rise 5.0 percent annually to $21.9 billion in 2018. Growth will accelerate slightly from the pace of the 2008-2013 period as drug makers upgrade the barrier, security, and functional properties of their packaging systems. Among all pharmaceutical packaging product groups, parenteral containers will post the fastest gains in demand as advances in biotechnology lead to the introduction of new injectable therapies adapted to prefillable syringes, unit dose vials, and premixed IV bags.
Plastic bottles to remain largest container group
In spite of increasing competition from blister packaging, plastic bottles will remain the largest selling group of pharmaceutical containers over the long term, both in revenues generated and unit consumption. This trend will reflect their widespread use in the packaging of oral drugs distributed in bulk and prescription dose volumes to retail and mail order pharmacies. Plastic bottles will also continue to dominate applications as containers for OTC medicines sold in tablet and capsule quantities of 50 or more.
Blister packaging to benefit from unit dose formats
Through 2018 and beyond, blister packaging will generate the second largest share of revenues among primary pharmaceutical containers. Blister packaging will broaden usage based on adaptability to unit dose and clinical trial formats with expanded label content, high visibility, and built-in track and trace features. Prefillable inhalers will realize above average gains in unit and revenue demand as the number of chronic asthma, allergy, and migraine patients treated with inhalation drugs rises. Markets for pharmaceutical pouches and medication tubes will expand much more slowly as the vast majority of applications remain limited to topical medication packaging. US demand for glass pharmaceutical bottles will continue to decrease gradually over the long term as plastic bottles and blister packs continue to capture applications. Strip packs will post the largest demand among groups of other primary pharmaceutical containers based on adaptability to economical unit dose formats.
Security packaging accessories to post fastest gains
Total US demand for pharmaceutical closures, labels, secondary containers, and other packaging accessories will grow 5.0 percent annually to nearly $7.8 billion in 2018. Child-resistant, seniorfriendly and dispensing closures; high visibility labels; and tamper-evident and other security accessories will see the fastest gains. Demand for these products will benefit from stricter government and industry standards covering the safety, security, and ease of use features of drug containers. Sales of dispensing closures will increase at a faster than average pace as drug makers adapt medication to high value-added delivery systems. Stepped up efforts by medical groups to improve patient drug adherence will boost the market for high visibility labels. Track and trace and authentication security components will generate above average growth in demand among other packaging accessories as the pharmaceutical industry seeks to combat drug counterfeiting and diversion activities.