The Europe medical plastic market size was USD 2.69 billion in 2015 and is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period to the growing demand for medical devices coupled with increasing consumer awareness towards health. Growing self-medication and home healthcare industry in the Europe is expected to have a positive impact on the growth. Increasing aging population in the European countries including Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria is expected to be a key factor driving demand.
Rising number of chronic disease cases such as diabetes, respiratory problems, heart diseases and arthritis among the aged citizens is expected to increase demand for devices, which in turn is anticipated to open new avenues for the industry over the projected period.
Increasing medical tourism in the Europe especially in the countries including Spain, Turkey, Germany, Hungary and Poland is anticipated to increase demand for the devices, which in turn is likely to have a positive impact on the industry growth.
Growing political support coupled with supportive reimbursement policies of medical products is expected to impact the medical device industry in the Europe. Furthermore, revision of medical device directives in the region to achieve robust, sustainable, and suitable regulatory framework is expected help in the product safety, innovation, and efficiency. As a result, demand for the these devices is anticipated to increase, which in turn is likely to affect the market on a positive note.
The industry is characterized by the presence of a large number of manufacturers with broad product portfolio, fluctuating raw material prices and stringent government regulations within the industry is likely to pose a barrier for new entrants. However, growing demand for bio-compatible plastic materials in medical application coupled with technological innovations in the product field to improve the product properties and enlarge application scope is likely to open opportunities for new players in the market.
The market is segmented based on product into polyvinylchloride, polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene, silicone and engineering plastic. Polyvinylchloride was the second largest product segment for the product in 2015 accounting over 15% of the total market volume. Increasing demand for PVC for manufacturing disposables, surgical gloves, tubing for dialysis, feeding, pressure monitoring and endotracheal is expected to have a positive impact on the market growth. However, the environmental and health hazards associated with the disposal of these products are expected to hamper market growth.
Engineering plastic is expected to be one of the fastest growing product segments in the industry owing to superior strength, toughness, and stiffness offered by the product. Growing demand for engineering plastic in the implants, drug delivery devices, orthopedic surgeries and in-vitro diagnostics is likely to have a positive impact on the market growth. Demand for polypropylene was valued over USD 325 million and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 7% from 2016 to 2024. Polystyrene is used to manufacture devices such as cups, plastic boxes, vaginal dilator speculum and medical keyboards. The ability of the product to maintain clarity and fitness during the sterilization process is likely to drive demand over the forecast period.
Polyvinylchloride accounted for over 30% market volume share in disposable applications in Germany. The product is used to manufacture tubing and collectors for blood and urine. The healthcare device manufacturers demand lighter, non-corrosive, low cost and more durable plastics, which are anticipated to have a positive impact on the market growth.
In Italy, demand for polyethylene in catheters was valued over USD 8 million in 2015 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 6% from 2016 to 2024. Growing utilization of catheters in the healthcare in various applications such as angioplasty, angiography, cardiac electrophysiology testing and in the administration of intravenous fluids is anticipated to drive demand for polyethylene over the forecast period.
Italy accounted for over 10% of the overall market in 2015. Increasing government investment in healthcare sector coupled with growing home healthcare market in the country is anticipated to drive demand for these devices, which in turn is likely to have a positive impact on the industry over the next eight years.
In terms of revenue, the market for the products in Germany is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 7% from 2016 to 2024. Public health insurance is a key factor affecting the medical device industry in the region. Over 85% of German population enrolls in the public insurance plan, and over 10% of population opts for private health insurance systems. Growing consumer spending on healthcare and increasing adoption of new medication technologies is likely to have a positive impact on the industry growth, which in turn is expected to drive demand for the product over the forecast period.
Increasing demand for nonwoven disposables in order to maintain hygiene and prevent infection is expected to have positive impact on the market growth. Diapers are expected to be key segment in the disposables market in UK. Polyvinylchloride dominated the disposables market in the UK owing to the flexibility offered by the product. However, the product is expected to grow at a slower pace as compared to its counterparts including PE and PP owing to the environmental impacts associated the waste disposal of PVC.
Key players in the industry include Rochling Group, Nolato AB, GW Plastics, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, Orthoplastics Ltd., Eastman Chemical Company, Celanese Corporation, The Dow Chemical company and Tekni-Plex.
Eastman Chemical Company introduced a styrene-free cost-effective material to European medical packaging portfolio called ‘Eastalite copolyester,' which can be used as an alternative to high-impact polystyrene for opaque rigid medical packaging. Eastalite is a foamed copolymer resin and is used for manufacturing rigid packaging devices, kits, work in process trays, mounting cards and thermoformed pharmaceutical packaging for the product.
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