Pharmaceutical Packaging 'Trending'

Pharmaceutical packaging industry has grown and performed like few others.

Pharmaceutical packaging in North America continues to outpace most business indices with a CAGR of over 9% growth since the year 2000. With this, by the end of 2025 the pharmaceutical packaging segment will likely be valued at over $84 Billion dollars, up 306% since the year 2000.

Although this is a highly regulated market, FDA approvals are up more than double-digit, year over year to expedite life-saving drugs to those who are in need. This, combined with more insured and a longer living population, demand continues. In fact, by the year 2029, 20% of our population will be 65 or older.

Lifestyle diseases also drive the growth. Obesity and diabetes. 1 in 3 in the US are considered clinically obese. This is unfortunately trending now to other countries.

Drug packaging grows as more drugs, therapies and treatment protocols are approved and marketed. The end product is, or should be, we live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Two other trends to consider are package product differentiation and packaging presentation differentiation.

Package product differentiation

Package product differentiation is very simple. It’s a more of a marketing approach to packaging to bring awareness to a competitive drug or medication to drive sales. For example, the OTC market was valued at $35B last year. Of course, OTC is a very low barrier of entry to supply. With this, very price competitive with a revenue typically based on volume. Thus, the drug maker determines the kind of packaging that will attract an end user.  Internal analgesics account for nearly 20% of the total OTC market. There is competition for this market. Attracting a user with branding and price is important. So also may be the patient preference. For example, would the patient prefer the same drug in a bottle or would they prefer their drug in a blister?

Package presentation

Package presentation is a little bit different and serves a more patient focused approach. A good example is the diabetes care segment. Many diabetics are faced with daily injections of insulin based medications to regulate blood glucose. Injections cause redness, swelling, scarring, infections and other associated adverse conditions. Over the last few years, new presentations are achieving improved results. Injector pens have improved, even some needle free. Transdermal applications are being improved as a potential option as a delivery device as well. Technology has settled in as a game changer in this space. Furthermore, the solid dose route is slowly getting to the therapeutic levels as an option to an injection. In the last 20 years the pharmaceutical packaging industry has grown and perform like few others. The trend for the next 20 will continue.