Ampoules are a type of unit-dose parenteral packaging solution. Single piece of packaging does not allow any type of contamination of the products contained in the packaging. Traditionally, glass is used for the manufacturing of ampoules, while plastic ampoules are gaining high traction in the emerging economies where the demand for low cost packaging is significantly high. Plastic is one of the abundantly available low cost materials, reducing the cost of ampoules. Low cost is one of the primary winning imperatives of plastic ampoules over its alternatives.
The global plastic ampoules market is valued at US$ 186.6 Mn in 2019. The market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 8.3% during the forecast period, 2019-2027.
Plastic as a material material offers many advantages as compared to glass. Plastic ampoules provide greater design flexibility compared to glass ampoules with higher dimensional accuracy in manufacturing. Plastic ampoules are manufactured using two processes- injection molding and blow molding. Blow molding process is a single step process that blows and fills plastic ampoules at the same time. With full-scale production capacity, this process yields only 10,000 ampoules per hour.
Injection molding process is a two-step process in which the plastic ampoules are molded and then transferred to the filling line for filling. This process adds flexibility to the production process of plastic ampoules as it can range from small batches at 1,500 ampoules per hour to full-scale production capacity of approximately 15,000 plastic ampoules per hour. Blow molding process accounts for the highest share in the manufacturing process segment and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.6%. Injection molding process is expected to gain traction globally as it is less expensive than blow fill sealing, and offers same production capacity.
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Plastic ampoules are majorly preferred for premium products which require extreme protection from foreign particles interference. Both the materials, glass, as well as plastic, have properties suitable for different applications and requirements. Plastic ampoules are gradually gaining pace in the pharmaceutical packaging applications. Unit dose parenteral packaging is highly preferred by the consumers over multi-dose packaging. In the US, as per the FDA regulations, unit dose plastic ampoules for pharmaceutical packaging account for almost 24%, are expected to generate above average growth opportunities, and are likely to lead the pharmaceutical packaging type in terms of value.
Ease of Administration and Increased Patient Compliance
Use of plastic ampoules eliminates the need for tearing and cutting the top of the package in order to dispense the dose. This makes it easier for the user to dispense the content in a controlled manner. Increase in geriatric population suffering from several chronic diseases and lower cost of plastic ampoules are the prime factors driving the demand for plastic ampoules. These factors are anticipated to boost injectable drug delivery systems which are user-friendly as they can be used easily at home or near the patient.
The Pharmaceutical Industry to Witness Growth during the Forecast Period
On the basis of end use, the pharmaceutical segment is expected to witness lucrative growth and is to be valued at US$ 111.1 Mn by 2019. End-use industries are progressively opting for plastic ampoules solutions such as cosmetics, chemicals, and veterinary. Therefore, the share of the pharmaceutical segment is expected to rise through 2027. Plastic, among the material types, is expected to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period wherein plastic ampoules are preferred in order to maintain drug hygiene. The preference for plastic ampoules can also be attributed to the low cost as compared to their counterparts.
Key companies functioning in the global plastic ampoules market are, Sanner GmbH, James Alaxander Corporation, LF of America Corporation, Bisio Progetti Spa, Shenzhen Bona Pharma Technology Co. Ltd, Pin Mao Plastic Industry Co. Ltd., Lameplast Group SpA, Catalent, Inc., Discos SRL, and Punto Pack SRL.