Packaging of pharmaceuticals ensures protection of the product from various factors such as sunlight, moisture and other environmental factors. This in turn inhibits microbial growth and consequently extends the shelf life of the drug. Pharmaceutical packaging includes bottles, ampoules, blisters, pouches, vials, prefilled syringes and tubes among others. They exhibit various properties such as leakage avoidance, inhibiting the growth of bacteria and barrier against moisture.

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Development of new packaging solutions which provide product protection, quality, patient comfort and compliance, and security needs are expected to increase consumer consumption. This in turn is expected to drive the market for novel pharmaceutical packaging. In addition, increasing global drug counterfeit market and the subsequent development of anti-counterfeiting drug packaging technologies and products is expected to boost the demand for pharmaceutical packaging over the next few years. Furthermore, introduction and implementation of numerous stringent regulations and standards for pharmaceutical packaging by regulatory bodies such as Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC), National Quality Forum (NQF) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to fuel the growth of the market within the forecast period. However, availability of raw materials and volatility in the price of raw materials is expected to hamper the growth of the market. Moreover, complicated registration procedure of packaging is expected to be a key challenge in the growth of the market.

Growing demand for pharmaceutical packaging from Asia Pacific on account of increased contract manufacturing, ageing population and growth of pharmaceutical industry are expected to open new opportunities for the market. In addition, shift towards nano-enabled packaging to enhance barrier properties against light, moisture, and mechanical forces is expected to open opportunities for the growth of the market over the next few years.

The plastic bottles product segment dominated the pharmaceutical packaging market in 2011 owing to the increased demand in North America and Western Europe. Plastic bottles accounted for over 20% of the market in 2011. However, parental containers are expected to show the fastest growth within the forecast period due introduction of new injected therapies. In addition, the label product segment is expected to show significant growth within the forecast period on account of growing number of regulations.

North America dominated the pharmaceutical packaging market and accounted for over 30% of the market in 2011. The dominance of the North American region in the packaging market is primarily due to the large demand of pharmaceutical packaging in the U.S. and Canada. However, Asia Pacific is expected to show the fastest growth within the forecast period due to increased contract manufacturing activities, ageing population and growth of medical industry. Asia Pacific is expected to account for over 25% of the market by 2018.

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The pharmaceutical packaging market was highly fragmented in nature with the top five companies accounting for less than 25% of the market in 2011. Amcor, Becton Dickinson, Gerresheimer AG, MeadWestvaco and Rexam PLC were some of the leading manufacturers present in the market. Amcor was the largest company leading the pharmaceutical packaging market in 2011. Some other prominent manufacturers present in the market include West Pharmaceutical Services, Tear and Tape, 3M, Nypro, Schott, Consort Medical and Ypsomed.

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