The global sterile medical packaging market was valued at USD 53.27 billion in 2022. It is projected to reach USD 124.18 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.86% during the forecast period (2023-2031).
Sterilization is intended to inactivate microbiological contaminants so that instruments can transition from non-sterile to sterile. Transporting and storing specific medical equipment requires paramedics to preserve cleanliness. These products are ready to use right out of the box. Along with the physical risk, these devices need to be wrapped to avoid contamination. Facilities with clean rooms are necessary for the creation of aseptic plastic packaging. For the creation of packaging, cleanrooms offer an environment free from external contamination, resulting in safe and hygienic designs for medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Epidemic, pandemic and antimicrobial resistance (SR) threats are now acknowledged as top priorities for action on the global health agenda because of their rising prevalence as ongoing global concerns. The need for sterile-based medical packaging, contamination-free medical items, and stopping the spread of diseases is anticipated to increase due to the tight restrictions that various organizations have put in place for infection prevention and control (IPC). Implementing preventative measures for clinical procedures (sterile procedures, surgery, catheter insertion), and sterilizing and disinfecting clinical materials, are among the entire set of critical actions that the national IPC team should oversee.
Provided the user confirms the sterilization procedure, sterilization methods are intended to produce a sterility assurance level (SAL) of at least 106. Sterilization records must be kept in sufficient detail to guarantee the necessary level of traceability to guarantee an efficient reprocessing system is in place. Therefore, it is anticipated that tighter IPC requirements will increase demand for sterilization and sterile-based products.
The EU regulations require different pharmaceutical producers to adhere to the EU Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) if they want to supply goods to the EU. This is true for nations in Europe. Companies are not required to abide by these rules; an alternate strategy is permitted as long as it satisfies the legislation. Additionally, these businesses need to invest more in R&D activities that will help the company to comply with these rules. Thus, it is anticipated that the dynamic character of the strict restrictions will impede the development of the industry under investigation.
By substituting single-use and reusable medical equipment for metal, glass, and other conventional materials, plastics are used increasingly frequently in medical and dental applications. Compared to traditional materials, they offer robust and lightweight performance, design flexibility, ease of manufacture, and the ability to distinguish products and brands through color, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Compared to standard plastics, high-performance plastics offer numerous benefits, including superior friction reduction, good malleability, flame and shock resistance, quicker production times, low weight, and resistance to high impact and chemicals. The large market size for HPPs is due to the development of regulations and standards requiring high-quality plastics used in medical applications (high-performance polymers). The Colorado State University Chemistry Department found a polymer with the potential to return to its original molecular state. This polymer allows for complete recyclability and has characteristics similar to typical plastics, such as lightweight and heat resistance. Such improvements are anticipated to offer the market under study more potential for expansion.
The global sterile medical packaging market is segmented by material type, product type, application type, and sterilization type.
Based on material type, the global sterile medical packaging market is bifurcated into plastics, paper and paperboard, glass, and other types.
The plastics segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.03% during the forecast period. Plastics play a significant role in the healthcare industry; in addition to being used to create medical equipment, they are also used to cover and seal needles and other tools to stop the spread of bacteria and illnesses. All single-use medical supplies in hospitals and clinics are packaged in plastic or paper. PVC (vinyl) has been used in the medical industry for more than 50 years and is essential for ensuring the safety of patients and healthcare professionals. It makes blood bags and IV tubing necessary for safe medical care. Depending on the end-use application, the plastics used in medical packaging and the finished packages are put through several rigorous tests to confirm their safety and compatibility for the intended usage. Plastics are one of the most popular and valuable materials for packaging due to their advantageous uses in healthcare and medicine. Additionally, a significant amount of garbage is produced as a result.
The materials used to package medical devices on paper must be helpful and safe. Medical grade paper needs high microbiological barrier qualities, a water-repellent covering, and excellent heat seal and peel properties. The base paper can be laminated to foil for blister packaging applications for over-the-counter and prescription medications, vitamins, and dietary supplements. Bandages, gloves, catheters, surgical sutures, and injection supplies can all be wrapped in medical packing paper. Paper-based packaging is used for medical supplies, including bandages, surgical gloves, devices like catheters, surgical instruments, and operation kits. The lidding for thermoformed plastic packaging on horizontal form, fill, and seal machines, with die-cut lids, pre-made pouches, and strip packs, are all examples of flexible packaging that uses paper. All of these products are formed, filled, and sealed.
Based on product type, the global sterile medical packaging market is bifurcated into thermoform trays, sterile bottles and containers, pouches and bags, blister packs, vials and ampoules, pre-filled syringes, and wraps.
The thermoform trays segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.82% during the forecast period. The packaging uses thermoforming technology to produce radical shapes, multiple undercuts, and draw ratios. Nevertheless, two fundamental demands are necessary for the medical package end-user: consistent and substantial seal flanges and an even wall distribution without thin spots. The two most popular sterile disposable packets are those with and without lids. In contrast, both varieties of trays need complex processing and design. Another way the thermoformed trays help secure a medical device is by maintaining a consistent product orientation. A 19-cavity tray containing secure medical equipment was produced as a result of, for example, TEQ, a Sonoco business, designing a new automated method to avoid quality rejections.
Sterile vials and ampoules constructed of glass and plastic are available from several vendors in the market. They encounter issues like delamination, fracture, etc., since they are compatible with various medication combinations. Over the next five years, alternative plastic vial formats such as cyclic olefin polymer (COP) and cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) forms will achieve a sizable market share. Additionally, sterile ampoules and vials are being produced more frequently due to the rise in parenteral packing. Further, the production and filling of small-volume vials, currently the most popular packaging format for parenteral pharmaceuticals, is anticipated to change due to the trend toward ready-to-use containers. Due to multinational companies like Sonoco and DWK Life Sciences, the United States controls the majority of the pharmaceutical vials and ampoules industry. With the complexity of medications and health issues like diabetes rising, there is a steady demand for sterile vials and ampoules.
Based on application type, the global sterile medical packaging market is bifurcated into pharmaceuticals, surgical and medical appliances, IVD, and other applications.
The pharmaceuticals segment owns the highest market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.52% during the forecast period. An unprecedented rate of change is occurring in the pharmaceutical sector. Further processing and packaging techniques are required to meet various needs across the globe due to new biological cancer treatments and a sharp increase in diseases like diabetes. Modern auto-injectors and insulin pens are progressively replacing traditional self-injection tools like syringes. Self-injectable medications are increasingly utilized to treat conditions like asthma, autoimmune illnesses, hepatitis C, and emergency medications, in addition to diabetes and growth hormone therapy. Quality by design, or QbD, is one of the newest concepts in the pharmaceutical sector. This program ensures that the medication is given to patients as intended and that nothing dangerous seeps from the packaging into the environment.
Over the last ten years, there has been a considerable increase in the demand for medical and surgical gloves, and it is projected that this trend will continue into the next ten. The rising emphasis on healthcare and hygiene, an increase in surgical procedures, an increase in healthcare spending, a rise in the risk of hospital-acquired infections, and the prevalence of chronic and infectious diseases are all factors contributing to the growth in the sales of examination and surgical gloves. Additionally, the expansion is boosted by the rise in surgical procedures. The need for surgical equipment is increasing globally due to the increase in surgical procedures across various locations.
Based on sterilization type, the global sterile medical packaging market is bifurcated into chemical sterilization, radiation sterilization, and pressure/temperature sterilization.
The chemical sterilization segment is the highest contributor to the market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10.17% during the forecast period. Devices that would be vulnerable to the high heat used in steam sterilization and those that could be harmed by irradiation are often sterilized chemically. Chemical sterilizers function by coming into direct contact with the test article through low-temperature, highly reactive gases, usually through a semi-porous membrane or packaging. Utilizing specific chemicals to end microbial growth is known as chemical sterilization. The type and concentration of the chemical employed, contact time, and contact temperature all affect how sterilized the packaging material becomes. Disposable devices are beginning to decline in many hospitals and laboratories.
Additionally, personalized trays are now being used in laboratories and hospitals instead of disposable ones. Furthermore, some of these devices may be glass or plastic and cannot be heated. Chemical sterilization is appropriate in this situation.
Autoclaving, another name for steam sterilization, involves injecting or creating saturated steam into a pressure chamber for a reasonable amount of time at a temperature of 121-148 °C (250-300 °F). However, autoclaving can lead to the degradation of some plastics. Additionally, some of the most frequently advised steam sterilization temperatures include 275°F (135°C), 270°F (132°C), and 250°F (121°C). The average cycle duration and temperature parameters, which vary depending on the type of load being handled, are defined and tested by the steam sterilizer manufacturer. In hospitals, bundled products are frequently autoclaved to sanitize them. The procedure is carried out in an autoclave by applying pressure and supplying dry, saturated steam. The materials in the sterilizer are heated by the condensation of steam, which swiftly and effectively kills the germs.
The global sterile medical packaging market is divided into four regions: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.24 % during the forecast period. The world's pharmaceutical sector is constantly expanding, which has helped pharma packaging. Pharmaceutical packaging is in great demand in heavily populated nations like India, Brazil, and China. These countries' increased pharmaceutical output has significantly increased demand. Pharma behemoths from the region include the global leaders in the pharmaceutical business, China and India. The 12th-largest exporter of medical products worldwide is India. The nation's enormous manufacturing capability will increase demand in the region's market.
Several end-users, including hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, are projected to utilize glass more frequently during the projection period due to features like durability, sustainability, and recyclables. The costs of various product types are anticipated to increase due to the price increases in vital pharmaceutical components brought on by supply chain disruptions. This might hurt the packaging industry in the short term. Some key Asian-Pacific market companies include Amcor Limited, Dupont De Nemours Inc., Company, West Pharmaceutical Services Inc., Sonoco Products Company, Steripack Ltd, Wipak Group, and others.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.58% during the forecast period. From its past conventional practice to the present, where high-tech instruments and equipment are used to boost efficiency, the European healthcare industry has advanced. These developments have opened the door for the growth of medical devices and other appliances, taking the market's medical device sector to new heights. As the trend of sterile instruments in the area is rising quickly, an increasing number of hospitals, therapeutic equipment makers, and diagnostic centers are driving the market under study. Manufacturers are encouraged to adapt their packaging designs frequently in response to evolving end-user needs and advancements in medical technology. Medical device suppliers are concentrating on creating high-value-added equipment with specific packing needs because of the growing demand for medical services in nations like the United Kingdom and Germany. As a result, the market is expected to grow profitably.
North America is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period. Although both the United States and Canada are developed nations with thriving economies, aging population segments, and cutting-edge medical delivery systems, there are measurable differences between the two countries in terms of population size, the intensity of healthcare spending, aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) levels, and the makeup of health insurance plans. The United States is one of the world's largest geographic markets for sterile medical packaging products due to its advanced primary medical community, extensive medical and life science research activities, high healthcare spending intensity, and sizable pharmaceutical and medical supply and device industries. Additionally, sterilizing packaging designated for use in healthcare is governed by CFR chapter 21, 880.6850 and is categorized as a class II medical device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To market items, manufacturers must file an A 510(k) that details the validation tests and outcomes. The market demand for pouches in the United States dramatically tends to increase with adherence to compliance.
Additionally, the market in the country is predicted to be driven by the anticipated significant expansion in the Canadian diagnostic product business, which is expected to expand applications for parenteral vials and specialty multiple-well trays. International companies are looking to capitalize on the expanding opportunities in the country due to the rising demand for glass vials, ampoules, and containers there. A manufacturing facility in South Georgia built by the Japanese company Arglass Yamamura LLC is expected to cost USD 123 million.
Saudi Arabia entirely depends on foreign goods because it imports all biological molecules. To do this, the National Transformation Plan aims to localize 40% of the pharmaceutical industry and reduce its import dependency. As a result, there will be an increase in domestic manufacturing, a boost to the region's pharmaceutical industry, and a sizable market for sterile packaging. A deal was reached in February between the Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) to begin making drugs based on blood plasma. A joint venture between the PIF and Barcelona-based Grifols has been established to help Saudi Arabia build production facilities, plasma collection, and donation sites.
The global sterile medical packaging market’s major key players are
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