Pharmaceutical Packaging: The Rising Demand and Opportunities

On an average, around 50 drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) annually. Further, studies indicate that more than 100,000 tons of pharmaceutical products are consumed globally per year. In addition, over the next five years, the global pharmaceutical contract manufacturing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6%, with global drug sales anticipated to raise revenues worth USD 1.5 trillion in 2023. This continuously growing pipeline of pharmaceutical drug products has inadvertently led to an increase in the demand for their associated primary and secondary pharmaceutical packaging solutions. 

demand for pharmaceutical secondary packaging is rising rapidly globally - Roots Analysis

Specifically, pharmaceutical packaging is a vital step in the product supply chain as it encloses life-saving drugs and therapies, preserving the identity, quality, integrity and stability of the packaged drug product.[1] It also plays a key role in marketing and brand projection for a product. However, the process of secondary packaging usually involves time consuming and complex activities, such as blister carding, thermoforming, labeling, kitting, assembly and cold chain storage (for temperature sensitive biologics). Other key challenges faced by developers are limiting variability in packaging materials and ensuring compliance to stringent regulatory guidelines (for packaging designs).[2] Considering the aforementioned concerns, many pharmaceutical players now prefer to collaborate with qualified packaging providers that offer non-traditional packaging solutions and have the required capabilities to create unique packaging designs, in a cost and time effective manner.[3] Some of the advantages offered by pharmaceutical secondary packaging have been depicted below.

advantages offered by pharmaceutical secondary packaging

As per the CDMO Outsourcing Survey conducted by Nice Insight, specifically for clinical and commercial scale operations, nearly 60% of the pharmaceutical companies currently outsource their primary packaging needs, while 43% of the players outsource their secondary packaging requirements.[4] Driven by the ongoing innovation in this field, continuous growth in the pharmaceutical drugs pipeline and a steady rise in drug approvals, the pharmaceutical secondary packaging market is likely to witness positive growth in the foreseen future.

Diverse Landscape of Pharmaceutical Secondary Packaging Providers

During our research, we came across more than 160 players, which claim to offer pharmaceutical secondary packaging services. As per our analysis, blisters are the prominent type of packaging containers for which majority of the companies offer its pharmaceutical secondary packaging services. This is followed by companies offering secondary packaging services for vials and bottles.

Diverse Landscape of Pharmaceutical Secondary Packaging Providers

Company Competitiveness Analysis

With so many players in the market, it may become baffling to decide which company would serve your purpose. Some companies do have advantages over other competitors, in terms of their experience, types of secondary packaging solutions offered, type of primary packaging packed, and additional services being offered. With the intention to develop a better understanding of the overall potential and capabilities of industry players involved in this domain, we carried out a company competitiveness analysis of the various stakeholders, based on location of their headquarters and company size.

Company Competitiveness Analysis Secondary Packaging Market - Roots Analysis

The Increasing Interest in this Field is also Reflected in Recent Partnership Activity

Since 2018, partnership activity within the pharmaceutical secondary packaging domain has increased with an annualized growth rate of 85%. Acquisitions have captured a substantial share in the partnerships related to pharmaceutical secondary packaging, during the period of 2018-2021. This was followed by manufacturing and packaging agreements, which have captured a significant share of the partnerships inked in this domain. Further, the maximum number of partnerships in this domain was observed in 2020, followed by those signed in 2021. This rise in partnership activity in the last two years can be attributed to the increasing demand of pharmaceutical secondary packaging providers to meet the drug supply demand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Increasing Interest in Secondary Packaging domain is also Reflected in Recent Partnership Activity

Demand Analysis

The pharmaceutical secondary packaging market, across various packaging formats, is anticipated to grow at an annualized rate of ~8% in the coming years. Presently, boxes and cartons hold the maximum share of the overall demand, followed by demand for pouches. This trend could be attributed to the various advantages offered by boxes and cartons, such as protection, lightweight, versatility and convenience to mold into various flexible packaging forms.


For more details, you can also download the SAMPLE REPORT on pharmaceutical packaging by Roots Analysis.

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