The global empty capsules market was valued at USD 1.34 billion in 2015. Key factors responsible for the growth include the increasing geriatric population, the high demand for empty capsules in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical industries, and the growing consumer preference for capsules over tablets.
The increased prevalence of the geriatric population and the associated chronic conditions imposes a high demand for the production of therapeutically-effective medicines to treat chronic health conditions. Capsules in the solid dosage forms are mostly preferred by the geriatric population due to the following reasons: they are easy to swallow, they have faster dissolution times in comparison to other oral dosage forms, and the decreased gastrointestinal irritation caused by these dosage forms.
North America Empty Capsules Market, by Application, 2013 - 2024 (USD Million)
The capsules are preferred by most of the consumers due to their fast disintegrating nature resulting in quicker absorption rates and the use of tasteless and odorless gelatin coating, which makes these capsules palatable. Most of the nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals are preferred in the capsule forms, such as cod liver oil capsules and CosmoPod capsules, respectively. The aforementioned advantages associated with capsule consumption are responsible for the high global demand for the empty capsules in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical industries.
However, the rising prices of the raw materials and the cultural and religious issues concerned with the consumption of capsules containing animal-derived inactive ingredients, such as porcine and bovine gelatin capsule shells, are the limiting factors for the growth of this market.
On the basis of product, the empty capsules market is segmented as gelatin and non-gelatin capsules. In 2015, the gelatin capsules segment accounted for the maximum revenue share of over 85% and are expected to continue its market dominance over the forecast period. The low-cost of the non-gelatin capsules, the availability of gelatin for the manufacturing process, the protein content of gelatin are some of the key factors expected to strengthen this segment’s growth over the forecast period.
However, the non-gelatin capsules segment is expected to witness growth at a lucrative CAGR of nearly7%. Some key factors include the vegetable origin of these capsules that circumvent religious issues associated with capsules of animal origin, the resultant increase in the consumer base for these non-gelatin capsules, and better stability of these vegetarian capsules compared to gelatin capsules.
Key therapeutic applications of the empty capsules include antibiotic and antibacterial drugs, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic drugs, cardiac therapy drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements, antacid and anti-flatulent preparations, anti-anemic preparations, cough, and cold preparations, and other therapeutic applications.
In 2015, the antibiotic and antibacterial drugs segment generated the maximum revenue of over USD 453.7 million owing to the high proliferation of various infectious diseases and chronic conditions worldwide that imposes a high demand on the pharmaceutical industries, which ultimately encourages the growth of the empty capsules market.
By 2024, the vitamins and dietary supplements segment is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing category during the forecast period.
On the basis of end-users, the empty capsules market is segmented into the pharmaceutical industry, nutraceutical industry, cosmetics industry, and research laboratories.
In 2015, the pharmaceutical industry segment accounted for the largest revenue share. The capsules are the most preferred solid dosage forms attributable to several reasons, such as better palatability and a faster absorption rate, which accounts for the maximum demand of these empty capsules in the pharmaceutical industry for the treatment of a plethora of chronic and infectious diseases.
In 2015, North America held the maximum revenue share of 39.6% on account of the proliferation of nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries in this region and the rising consumer awareness pertaining to nutraceutical products. The key reasons engendering this expansion are the health-focused trends observed in the North American markets.
Since these nutraceuticals help in the prevention of major health problems, such as obesity, cancer, and arthritis, there has been an increase in the consumption of these nutraceuticals. Since capsules are the most preferred solid oral dosage forms, the demand for empty capsules in the nutraceutical industry is high in this region.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness the maximum CAGR of nearly 7.9% over the forecast period. The key attributable factors include the proliferation of pharmaceutical industries in this region, the favorable government initiatives pertaining to the development of healthcare infrastructure, which encompass the pharmaceutical manufacturing industries, and the increasing demand for nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals due to the increasing awareness about wellness trends and fitness-oriented changing lifestyles thus propelling the overall growth of the empty capsules market in the Asia Pacific region.
The key players in this market include Capsugel, Inc., ACG Associated Capsules Pvt. Ltd., JC Biological Technology Co. Ltd, CapsCanada Corporation, Medicaps Ltd., Qualicaps, Inc. (Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation), Patheon, Inc. (Banner Pharmacaps, Inc.), Roxlor LLC, and Sunil Healthcare Ltd.(Sunloc Healthcare, Inc.). The market dynamics provide an open and competitive platform for various players to tap into the high-growth areas and cater to the high-unmet needs across different regions.
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