The global pharmaceutical glass packaging market was valued at USD 151.55 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach a value of USD 256.97 billion by 2025 registering a CAGR of 9.17% over the forecast period (2020 – 2025). Glass packaging is one of the primary packaging material for the pharmaceutical industry as it limits the alkalinity and hydrolytic resistance of the glass container. Further, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries are highly regulated and are emphasizing the safety and sustainability aspects of manufacturing and packaging processes. Traceability legislations across the healthcare sector have been established to counter counterfeit drugs and medical devices. For instance, in October 2019, Corning Incorporated announced an allied pharmaceutical manufacturer got FDA approval of Corning Valor Glass to be deployed as a primary package for a marketed drug product. Such innovative glass packaging solution is following a new trend in the market.
- The growth of the pharmaceutical industry in emerging economies is driving the market. The glass packaging manufacturers and suppliers are focusing on shifting their base to China, India, and Brazil, as a result of increasing opportunities offered by the pharmaceutical industry in these countries, especially in the generics sector. For instance, in April 2019, the technology group, SCHOTT, invested BRL 50 million in its pharmaceutical tubing production in Rio de Janeiro, as part of its global growth strategy. As the demand in pharmaceutical industries is increasing, SCHOTT is contributing to manufacture 100% inspection of glass tubing to detect possible defects.
- Further, India is the source of 60,000 generic brands across 60 therapeutic categories and manufactures more than 500 different Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). The Department of Pharmaceuticals aims to make the country a hub for end-to-end drug discovery under its ‘Pharma Vision 2020’.
- The commodity value of glass increased with recyclability is driving the market. Pharmaceutical packaging accounts for a very small proportion of waste due to the majority share being used to glass as a material. Additionally, glass packaging is also 100% recyclable, which makes it a desirable packaging option from the environmental point of view. Also, colored glass such as amber glass and red colored glass can protect its contents from ultraviolet rays and certain wavelengths. Glass containers can easily be sterilized using heat, making them an ideal material for pharmaceutical packaging.
- Piramal Enterprise has announced using the use of eco-friendly power supplies and recycled glass to reduce our overall energy consumption and carbon footprint, thus contributing to a safer and greener work environment. Recently, they have also developed thin, lightweight glass bottles, further decreasing the company’s energy and raw material consumption. Similarly, Gerresheimer has committed to a similar sustainability trend across the sector. The company has been producing glass with a high proportion of post-consumer recycled (PCR) material for over ten years in Belgium.
- Further, the spread of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the market initially due to disruptions in the supply chain as a result of delayed production globally. However, the scenario changed later. For instance, FEVE (Federation of European manufacturers of glass containers and machine-made glass) called on the authorities to recognize the critical role of container glass manufacturing and subsequently led the manufacturing continuity across all plants to supply people with food, beverages, and pharmaceutical goods.
- However, logistically, it has been difficult for bottles, vials, and ampoules makers to provide to pharma companies. For instance, AGI glaspac’s pharma segment, which currently contributes 30-32 % of glass packaging in the Indian pharma packaging industry, is facing hampered production, affected supplies, and increased stock. So far, the company is working partially with limited raw materials like sand and soda ash, the key input raw materials for glass packaging.
Key Market Trends
Glass Bottles to Witness a Significant Growth
- Glass bottles used in the pharmaceutical industry are extensively used for the packaging of medicinal drugs. Pharmaceutical glass bottles are manufactured to meet tight tolerance limits because they’re often filled in high-speed lines. Glass is being considered as a viable alternative as it’s impacts on humans and the environment are much less compared to polyethylene terephthalate (PET), making it the most environment-friendly packaging medium.
- The range of glass bottles includes standard products such as oral medicine and syrup bottles, dropper bottles, and infusion bottles in addition to tablet and ointment jars or wide mouth packers.
- These glass bottles come in different sizes, designs, and specifications whose volumes range from 5 ml up to 4000 ml. Of these, the large-sized containers are used for packaging of reagents as well as infusion transfusion bottles, whereas small-sized bottles are being used for packaging oral liquid, including syrup bottles, drops. These are also used for storing oral tablets.
- In addition to the regular-sized bottles, dropper bottles are being used in the pharmaceutical industry, in ophthalmic contexts and for things like essential oils and aromatherapy. The demand for these bottles is expected to witness increased demand owing to the growing popularity of vape liquids.
- Further technological innovations are addressing the 1 or 2% of these containers are outside the tolerance range (not exactly vertical, or the bottom is too thick). For instance, Bionorica, a manufacturer of herbal medicines worked with Romaco, a manufacturer of packing and process technology, to develop a simple, space-saving inspection unit, named Spectra, for monitoring empty bottles. This could prevent damage to the filling machine due to those faulty bottles.
- Further, SGD Pharma, at CPhl Worldwide 2019, has launched an application to identify the chances of non-compliance in molded glass bottles intended for the pharmaceutical industry. The company claims that the app could identify and recognize non-conformities quickly, thereby significantly improving inspection processes and make the right decision.
- Moreover, the increasing number of people suffering from diabetes is significantly supporting the growth of glass bottles for injectable pharmaceuticals. Glass cartridges with pen injection devices have been widely used in insulin with a standard size of 1.5ml of the glass bottle. It is estimated that till 2035, the number of diabetic will increase to 500 million.
North America Holds a Significant Share
- The glass bottles and syringes are the most used form of packaging in the United States. Seven of the top ten drugs sold in the United States are packaged using glass, according to Pharmaceutical-technology.com. Drugs such as Opdivo, Avastin, Herceptin, and Keytruda are sold in glass bottles, which are of 20 to 50 cc sizes, while the most sold drug Humira in sold in Syringes.
- The United States also dominates the pharmaceutical market, both in consumption and development. According to STAT, prescription drug spending in the nation is considered to add up to USD 600 billion by 2023, up from an estimated USD 500 billion in 2019, which is further expected to drive the market for pharmaceutical glass packaging in the country.
- Moreover, the increasing population under the age group of 0-9 years is estimated to drive the demand for pharmaceutical syrups, which would, in turn, reflect the growth of the glass bottles consumption. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the United States, the population under 0-9 years age group was 40.01 million in 2019.
- Further, over the years, the United States has been emphasizing on recycled glass packaging. According to the US Glass Packaging Institute (GPI), the country annually uses over 3.35 million metric tons of glass. Also, it was estimated that over 33% of this figure was accounted for to produce glass containers in 2019. Within this approach, the country has built over 80 recycling plants for all recyclable materials. Effective recycling is driving the pharmaceutical industry to adopt glass packaging solutions apart from its other benefits.
The pharmaceutical glass packaging market is inclined towards fragmentation. The surge in government initiatives and increasing demand for injectables and other medicines provide lucrative opportunities in the glass packaging solutions in the pharmaceutical industry. Overall, the competitive rivalry among existing competitors is high. Further, expansion and mergers of large companies in different pharmaceutical industries are expected to increase the demand in the market. Key players are Gerresheimer Glass Inc., Corning Incorporated, etc. Recent developments in the market are -
- February 2020 - Stevanato Group and Bormioli Pharma announced a collaboration agreement to enable biopharma customers, contract filling organizations, and research laboratories to receive Bormioli Pharma’s proprietary primary containers in Ompi’s (Stevanato) industry-recognized EZ-fill secondary packaging configuration.
- January 2020 - Gerresheimer launched Gx Elite top-quality injection vials for greater patient safety. These high-end tubular glass vials are Gerresheimers’ response to increasingly stringent customer demands and expectations on the pharmaceutical market, including greater demands for patient safety.
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