World pharmaceutical packaging demand will increase at a rate of 4.3 per cent a year to reach $22.2 billion (€17.2bn) in 2007, according to a new report from Freedonia Group. Companies supplying blister packaging will benefit from particularly strong growth in this sector.
This rate of growth, which includes price increases, is very similar to the rate seen in the industry over the last few years.
Nearly 80 per cent of the total market in 2007 will come from the eight largest drug-producing countries - the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Switzerland.
Among these countries China will generate the fastest growth, Freedonia notes, because of its rapidly expanding pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and the phasing-in of government programmes to upgrade the quality of locally-produced medicines.
The study, called World Pharmaceutical Packaging, says that the US will remain the largest consumer of pharmaceutical packaging as its advanced drug-producing sector introduces new sophisticated preparations with specialised storage requirements.
Meanwhile, growth in demand among the top West European drug makers will reflect upgraded government standards requiring unit dose packaging, but pricing pressures on government-reimbursed medicines will result in below-average gains in demand in Japan.
Blister demand rising
Blister packaging will generate the highest world-wide growth among all pharmaceutical packaging products, with demand increasing by 6.6 per cent annually to $4.9 billion in 2007. Among the drivers for this growth is a move by regulators in some countries to insist that blister packs are used for a number of medications for safety reasons.
For example, Western Europe will provide an especially strong regional market for blister packaging as legislation dictates that the majority of prescription drugs dispensed directly to patients in European Union countries must be provided in unit dose packs.
Other reasons for the growth in blister packaging include its broad adaptability to unit dosing, which can improve safety and compliance and help defend against counterfeiting. And blister packs are increasingly being used in clinical trial samples and over-the-counter and sterile drugs, notes the report.
Plastic bottles will continue to account for a significant share of world pharmaceutical packaging demand based on cost advantages and versatility. Global demand for these containers will rise by 4.1 per cent a year to $4.5 billion in 2007. Growth will reflect sustained applications involving solid oral medication distributed in large quantities to institutional and retail pharmacies.
Drug pouches and strip packs will generate average growth, driven by unit dose and high visibility applications. However, demand for medication tubes will expand more slowly as the number of uses for these packages is declining amid competition from plastic dispensing bottles.
World Pharmaceutical Packaging (Ref 1753) was published last month and costs $5,100. For more information, visit Freedonia's website .