Plastics for Healthcare Packaging

Published - Apr 2010| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS007D
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Report Highlights

  • The U.S. plastic healthcare packaging market is estimated at 3.8 billion pounds in 2010 and is expected to increase to almost 5 billion pounds by 2015, a 5.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
  • Polypropylene is the largest sector at 987 million pounds in 2010. This sector is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3% to 1.3 billion pounds in 2015.
  • The PVC market is estimated at 845 million pounds in 2010. By 2015, this sector will reach 1 billion pounds, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5%.


This study looks in detail at the use of plastics in the packaging of healthcare products segmented by pharmaceutical and medical packaging.
  • Pharmaceutical products, which are defined as drugs in dosage forms that are purchased and consumed by individual patients, and are either prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner or are drugs that do not require a prescription and are purchased by individuals “over the counter” (OTC). These products are usually packaged in containers, blister packs, bags/pouches, etc.
  • Medical products, i.e., those used by medical practitioners themselves, in hospitals, clinics, home healthcare operations, etc. Examples are syringes, blood and intravenous solution bags, diagnostic kits, tubing, trays and other similar items. 
The focus of this study is on plastics that are used in packaging of healthcare products and their various plastic healthcare packaging products. The objective of this report is to discuss, analyze, and forecast markets for the use of major plastics used in packaging important healthcare products.
The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive reference for those interested and/or involved in the use of plastics for packaging healthcare products. This is a wide and varied group of those in the pharmaceutical, medical and plastics industries.
Healthcare plastics find increased use each year in applications in healthcare packaging. In these changing times, with emphasis on healthcare cost control, plastics are increasing their penetration in packaging. This study covers these changes and provides analyses and forecasts for use of different plastics in this packaging market.
This report is intended to assist those involved in plastics, packaging, and healthcare products. These organizations and people include those involved in development, formulation, manufacture, sale, and use of plastics in healthcare packaging
Since a significant market for the use of plastics is the prime focus of this study, it will be of interest and value to those involved in polymer and polymer processes, from manufacture of bulk resins to converting and other plastics fabrication processes. It will also be of major interest to those who use plastics in packaging healthcare products, both healthcare end-user companies and contract packagers, along with plastics producers. 
Companies and personnel in ancillary businesses such as processing equipment, additives, and other support chemicals and equipment will find information useful to their operations. These include process and product development staff, process and product designers, purchasing agents, construction and operating personnel, market staff, and top management. This report can be of great value to technical and business personnel in the following areas, among others: 
  • Marketing and management personnel in companies that produce, market, and sell all types of plastics, i.e., virgin, specially compounded, and recycled.
  • Companies that supply or want to supply equipment and services to plastics processors.
  • Financial institutions that provide funding for such facilities, including banks, merchant bankers, venture capitalists, and others.
  • Personnel in end-user companies and industries that purchase and use packaging plastics ranging from converters, compounders, and molders to contract packaging companies and healthcare company end-users. Healthcare packagers are a key group of companies who could be interested, as well.
  • Personnel in government at many levels. This includes federal officials, primarily at the EPA and FDA, who are involved with protection of national standards regarding public health and safety. 
This study covers many of the most important economic, technological, regulatory, and environmental considerations in U.S. markets for the use of plastics to package healthcare products.
It is primarily a study of activities and markets in the United States, but because of the global nature of polymer and packaging chemistry in both the plastics and healthcare industries, it touches on some noteworthy international activities.
These are primarily those which can have an impact on U.S. activities and markets, such as activities of foreign-based companies in U.S. markets, and international technologies, standards and protocols. 
The market volumes in this report refer to the U.S., although there are often significant amounts of finished products made or shipped offshore. There is usually less of an impact regarding offshore sourcing in healthcare-related markets than in most others primarily because of the nature of the industry: product failures obviously have more a more critical effect on users.
All market volume figures are rounded to the nearest million or billion pounds. Growth rates are all compounded (signified as compounded average annual growth rates or CAGRs). Due to this rounding, some growth rates may not agree exactly with figures in the market tables.
Some topics and materials covered in the text of this report are not included in the market forecast tables simply because either volumes are too low to broadly estimate or volumes may be proprietary.
There are also a wide variety of terms used almost interchangeably, which often makes it difficult to specifically segment several products used in healthcare packaging because, in many cases, they are multifunctional such as: 
  • Trays vs. kits
  • Pouches vs. bags
  • Closures vs. caps
  • Containers vs. bottles
  • Closures vs. lidding
A final point is that there are often times when there is a need to review some preliminary but important background details in the detailed pharmaceutical and medical sections for those readers who purchase certain sections of the report rather than the complete report
Searches were made of the literature, including many of the leading trade publications, and well as technical compendia, government publications, and information from trade and other associations. Product and market information was obtained whenever possible from the principals involved. The information for the company profiles was obtained primarily from company literature. Other sources included directories and articles.
Research analyst Mel Schlechter has more than 40 years in the chemical industry and specializes in plastics market research. He has been with BCC Research for more than a decade and holds a B.S. in chemistry, M.S. in organic chemistry, and a M.B.A. in marketing. 
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.

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Published - Feb-2005| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS007C

Report Highlights

  • The plastic healthcare packaging market in North America is estimated at 2.5 billion pounds for 2004 and is expected to increase to slightly more than 3.2 billion pounds by 2009, at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 5%.
  • Polypropylene represents nearly 28% of the market and will rise at an AAGR of 5.1% to 913 million pounds in 2009.
  • PVC is, and will remain with the second highest share despite efforts to reduce its use. PVC still is regarded as a cost-effective and safe material by the industry.
  • Bottles/vials, tubing/containers, syringes and kits are estimated to be the leading healthcare packaging applications, accounting for more than 83% of total plastic volume in 2004.

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