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World pharma packaging to grow 5.3pc annually

By Wai Lang Chu , 07-Dec-2005

According to a new report, the demand for worldwide drug packaging is expected to reach new heights, predicting growth of 5.3 per cent annually to $24.3 billion (€20 7 billion) in 2009, driven by aging demographic patterns increasing disease incidences.

Growth is expected to follow upward trends in global medication consumption, as Pharma assumes an expanding role in world wide health care delivery. This is based on new product introductions and economical advantages over other forms of patient treatments.

Drug delivery systems such as nasal sprays, inhalers, transdermal patches, and oral ingestion are redefining the market, becoming just as important as the drug itself. Meanwhile, biologic drugs and quick dissolving tablets are increasing the need for high barrier packages.

The report, published by Freedonia , states the adoption of stricter regulations and standards governing the production, storage, distribution and labelling of pharmaceuticals will boost global growth opportunities for packaging products and accessories.

The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) decision to update guidelines on the use of plastic packaging in pharmaceuticals is one example of efforts to improve standards within the industry.

The EMEA chose to update its 1994 guidelines on the use of plastic primary packaging materials in light of the Common Technical Document, which came into force on 1 July 2003.

It is designed to make mutual recognition of marketing application dossiers for medicines easier between regulatory authorities around the world.

Regulations to govern pharmaceutical packaging not only focus on preserving the quality of enclosed medication but the emerging threat of product tampering and counterfeiting means policy must now take a international perspective.

These requirements are now being extended additionally to cover such criteria the assurance of product dispensing accuracy and the promotion of patient compliance with product dosage schedules.

The report said that the ten largest drug-producing countries will absorb more than 80 per cent of revenues: the US, Japan, France, the UK, China, Germany, Italy, India, Switzerland and Brazil.

Among these countries, China and India will generate the fastest growth in demand based on rapidly expanding pharmaceutical manufacturing capabilities and phasing-in of government programs to upgrade the quality of nationally produced medicines.

Packaging firms are likely to be attracted to the lower-wage countries such as India and China as well as an eager and plentiful workforce.

If the region can get some form of enforceable regulation in place the two countries will continue to draw a significant share of attention.

The US will remain the largest consumer of pharmaceutical packaging as the country's advanced proprietary drug-producing sector introduces new sophisticated preparations with specialised storage requirements.

Growth in demand among the top West European drug makers will largely reflect increasing applications for blister packaging attributable to the European Union directive that all prescription drugs dispensed directly to patients be in a unit dose pack.

Downward pricing pressures on government-reimbursed medicines will account for below average gains in Japanese pharmaceutical packaging demand.

Freedonia's report: "World Pharmaceutical Packaging," is available now to purchase.

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