The global medical flexible packaging market was valued at USD 15.8 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow USD 23.0 billion by 2027, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.5% from 2021 to 2027. The growing use of flexible packaging products in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors is driving the demand for these products. Increasing use of the product on account of various advantages including container variety, less raw material needed, easy disposal, and lightweight are expected to fuel demand over the forecast period.
The major materials used for the manufacturing of flexible packaging products are plastics, paper, and aluminum, of which the plastics material segment is the largest. The wide variety of options from these materials and the ability to provide high tensile strength than their metal counterparts is expected to drive market demand over the forecast period.
Growing efforts toward formulating dosage forms to maximize the bioavailability of the drug at the target site while increasing patients’ convenience are driving the global market growth. The introduction of novel drug delivery systems, such as sub–dermal implants, which are available in different forms like rings and patches, are expected to aid the demand for drug delivery devices.
Global Medical Flexible Packaging Market Dynamics
Drivers: Growth in pharmaceutical industries in emerging economies
Emerging markets provide an excellent opportunity for the medical devices & pharmaceutical industries. These markets exhibit huge market potential and are expected to account for one–third of the global pharmaceutical industry by 2018. Factors such as a huge population, improving longevity, and increasing disposable incomes in this region are expected to provide companies with attractive opportunities. Companies are struggling with the stagnation of mature markets, patent expirations, and increased regulatory hurdles.
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However, although these regions offer huge untapped potential, they display a wide diversity in their stages of development, particularly concerning the healthcare infrastructure. Therefore, there cannot be a “one–size–fits–all” approach to emerging markets. Among the three main market clusters — the BRICMT economies (those of Brazil, Russia, India, China, Mexico, and Turkey); second–tier countries such in the Southeast Asia region; and Africa — local characteristics make modified approaches to these markets essential.
Restraints: Increasing packaging costs
Flexible packaging finds use in medical applications and protects products, such as lifesaving drugs, surgical devices, blood and blood products, nutraceuticals, powders, poultices, liquid and dosage forms, solid and semisolid dosage forms, from moisture or any physical damage. In addition, the packaging of these products also provides containment, drug safety, identity, the convenience of handling, and secure delivery. Medical packaging has to balance many complex features.
Factors such as fighting against counterfeit drugs, encouraging patient compliance towards medicines, ensuring the safety and integrity of drugs, and offering child–resistance packaging are issues of high importance to medical packagers. Environment safety is another key concern for the packaging industry in developed and developing countries.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the medical flexible packaging market based on material, product, and end–use at the regional and global levels.
By Material Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017–2027)
By Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017–2027)
- High Barrier Films
- Pouches & Bags
- Lids & Labels
By End–Use Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2027)
- Pharmaceutical Packaging
- Medical Device Packaging
- Implant Packaging
- Contract Packaging
By Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017–2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
The plastic segment is projected to account for the largest market share by material
The global medical flexible packaging market comprises plastics, paper, aluminum, and others based on material. In 2020, the plastic segment accounted for the largest market share of 74.0% in the global medical flexible packaging market. Plastics are the largest consumed materials for the manufacturing of flexible packaging products. The presence of many manufacturing facilities and innovation in extrusion technology has improved the demand for these materials and developed new shapes for use in packaging. The plastics in manufacturing the above products are polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyethylene. They are used for building the body structure of the packages and are often used in less thickness coating to improve the functional properties of the packaging. The oil price fluctuation has had a deep impact on the manufacturing of these plastics.
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The demand for plastics as flexible packaging materials has been affected by plastic production globally. Plastic production in Europe is growing at a slow pace owing to which the demand for plastic medical flexible packaging products is expected to grow at a slow pace. The environmental regulations in Europe are also responsible for slow growth rates in the region.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on the regions, the global medical flexible packaging market has been segmented across North America, Asia–Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Globally, Asia Pacific is estimated to hold the highest CAGR of 6.1% in the global medical flexible packaging market during the forecast period. Hospitals’ increasing demand for high–quality medical devices and components in major economies like China, India, and Singapore increases the healthcare industry’s expenditure. In addition, improving service and safety standards in hospitals is expected to drive the medical plastics market growth over the forecast period.
After the Asia Pacific, North America is the fastest–growing region with a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. The U.S. is expected to remain the largest market for medical flexible packaging over the forecast period. The rising pharmaceutical innovation and growing research on medical devices are expected to drive these products’ demand. Advanced medical device manufacturers with specialized packaging needs are expected to drive market demand. The growing financial stability is expected to impact market growth positively.
Key Market Players
The medical flexible packaging market is mildly concentrated in nature with few numbers global players operating in the market such as Bemis Company, Inc., WestRock, Aptar, Inc., Dätwyler Holding, Inc., Becton, Dickinson & Company, Berry Global, Catalent Pharma Solutions, Coveris S.A., Winpak Ltd., Sealed Air, Amcor, Mondi, Huhtamäki Oyj, CCL Industries, Inc., and Gerresheimer. Every company follows its business strategy to attain the maximum market share.
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