GVR Report cover Pharmaceutical Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Pharmaceutical Packaging Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Material (Glass, Plastics & Polymers), By Product (Primary, Secondary), By End Use, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Jul, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-1-68038-488-8
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2017 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 203

Report Overview

The global pharmaceutical packaging market size was valued at USD 107.0 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4% from 2021 to 2028. Growing penetration of retail pharmacies in developing regions and a rising focus on brand enhancement and product differentiation by pharmaceutical manufacturers are anticipated to drive market growth. Packaging products are primarily utilized for storing solid, liquid, and semisolid forms of formulations, such as tablets, capsules, syrups, and topical drug formulations. The increasing prevalence of chronic diseases due to changing lifestyles, eating habits, and alternation in sleep cycles are contributing to an increased need for medications.

U.S. pharmaceutical packaging market size

In addition, the focus of various governments on strengthening healthcare facilities and insurance coverage is further expanding the demand for pharmaceuticals, which, in turn, is boosting the market growth. Drugs are majorly offered in pills, liquid, and powder forms. Various packaging types, including rigid bottles, standup pouches, flat pouches, sachets, and blister packs, are used for their packaging. Pharma packaging products are highly customized products and are bounded by strict regulatory compliances, especially concerning the sterility of the packaging. Thus, the packaging and pharmaceutical product manufacturers work closely during the development of packaging products.

The emergence of counterfeiting activities has led to the imposition of bans on such counterfeit products that can cause undesirable effects on consumers, leading to major health concerns. From February 2019, under the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161, drug makers are required to add a unique identifier and an anti-tampering device to the packaging of most centrally authorized pharmaceutical products. Packaging companies are increasingly focusing on the incorporation of tamper-evident properties into the packaging to enhance their functionality and safety to comply with strict regulations.

Companies are majorly focusing on the utilization of Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) material and are also developing packaging from compostable material to increase sustainability. Gerresheimer AG offers glass bottles made from PCR glass. In addition, the company is offering bottles made from R-PET and BIO-PET (resins made from sugarcane plants). This trend of sustainable packaging is expected to significantly gain pace in the coming years.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak in December 2019, top biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are engaged in the development of vaccines for the disease. In 2020, the demand for glass-based vials has therefore experienced a huge spike in demand owing to the increased COVID-19 vaccine production by companies including GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna among others. The demand is further expected to increase in 2021 with an increasing number of orders for vaccines from countries across the world.

Material Insights

Plastics & polymers held the highest revenue share of 37.1% in 2020.  Various types of plastic resins including PE, PET, PP, PVC, PS, and bioplastic are widely used for manufacturing pharmaceutical vials, bottles, closures, syringes, pouches, sachets, cartridges, tubes, and blister packs. Polypropylene (PP) accounted for the largest revenue share in the plastic & polymers material segment in 2020 as it offers a combination of beneficial properties, such as mechanical, physical, electrical, and thermal characteristics.

Paper & paperboard are majorly used in secondary and tertiary packaging of pharmaceutical products. Excellent printability, low cost, wide availability, and sustainability of paper & paperboard make them lucrative secondary and tertiary packaging options. Paper-based materials are often used as lidding in blister packs on account of their low cost compared to aluminum lidding. International Paper and WestRock Company are some of the leading manufacturers of paper-based packaging.

Glass is impervious to gases, moisture, odors, and microorganisms, thus, is widely employed in the packaging of liquid and semisolid pharmaceutical formulations. Glass is used for manufacturing injectable vials, syrup bottles, cartridges, syringes, and other products. Amber-colored glass is majorly preferred for pharmaceutical packaging as it absorbs the harmful UV wavelengths and protects the medicines from getting damaged.

Aluminum is another commonly used material for pharmaceutical packaging. It is used as a lidding material in blister packs owing to its strong barrier and easy-to-tear properties. It is also used to make flexible strip packs used for packing tablets. In addition, most of the seals used in plastic or glass syrup bottles are made of aluminum on account of their strong barrier properties against oxygen and UV light.

The other material segment primarily includes rubber and cotton. Multiple types of rubber including natural, neoprene, nitrile, butyl, chlorobutyl, bromobutyl, and silicone are used in pharmaceutical packaging to make closures, cap liners, and bulbs for dropper assemblies. Rubber stopper is primarily used for multiple-dose vials and disposable syringes.

Product Insights

The primary product segment accounted for the largest revenue share of over 75.3% in 2020 and is likely to retain its leading position over the forecast period. Primary packaging, such as bottles, tubes, or blister packs, directly comes in contact with the drug and thereby envelopes the drug and protects it from contamination. In addition, it is often involved in dispensing and dosing drug contents. Packaging companies are focusing on the easy-to-open closures and incorporation of dispensing systems that deliver the right dose at the right time, which can aid the elderly population in drug dosage.

Secondary pharmaceutical packaging is a consecutive covering or package, which stores several groups of pharmaceutical packages together and protecting the packages from external impacts. Secondary packaging is primarily used for branding & display that plays a vital role in the marketing strategy for the product, and logistics, wherein grouping several products together offer ease of handling.

Tertiary packaging is used for wrapping or packaging a set of products. The packaging is used for safe handling and smooth transportation of goods. Some of the examples of tertiary packaging include brown cardboard boxes, shrink-wraps, and plastic bags. The increasing trend of e-pharmacy is expected to further increase the adoption of tertiary packaging in the market over the forecast period.

End-use Insights

Pharma manufacturing is the key end-use segment that accounted for the highest share of 50.2% in 2020 and is expected to witness strong growth from 2021 to 2028. This is owing to the increasing demand for medicines. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population of age over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%. The geriatric population requires additional medical assistance, thereby fueling pharmaceutical manufacturing activities. This, in turn, is likely to boost the demand for pharmaceutical packaging.

Global pharmaceutical packaging market share

Market players in the pharmaceutical industry have increased the outsourcing of packaging activities to save their expenses and time. Instead of investing in packaging products, manufacturers are outsourcing packaging operations to specialized and highly capable contractors to ensure efficient packaging. This is expected to push the demand for contract manufacturing.

Retail pharmacies are increasingly incorporating branding activities on their packaging to differentiate them from others. Polybags and paper pouches are the commonly used packaging products by such retail pharmacies. The increasing penetration of retail, especially in developing countries like India, China, and Brazil, is expected to boost the retail pharmacy end-use segment.

Institutional pharmacies are the pharmaceutical outlets operating within the institutions, such as medical hospitals, nursing care facilities, and assisted living communities. An increasing number of hospitals and nursing homes and rising healthcare spending are likely to have a positive impact on the institutional pharmacy end-use segment.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market with a revenue share of 37.1% in 2020, wherein pharma manufacturing, which includes in-house production, was the largest end-use segment in the region. The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) was signed on December 13, 2016, in the U.S. to accelerate medical product development. The law is expected to drive product innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, which, in turn, will drive the demand for pharmaceutical packaging in North America.

Asia Pacific is expected to register the fastest CAGR of more than 12% from 2021 to 2028. Growing health awareness among consumers in Asia Pacific, especially in developing countries including China and India, coupled with the rising disposable income levels is anticipated to boost the growth of the pharmaceutical industry over the forecast period augmenting demand for its packaging. China dominated the Asia Pacific regional market in 2020 and will retain the leading position over the coming years owing to increasing government initiatives, such as Healthy China 2020, growing contract-manufacturing activities, and burgeoning aging population.

Europe is expected to have considerable growth owing to the rising research & development activities and introduction of new medicines aimed at improving patient health and their quality of life. Companies, such as BioNTech SE and CureVac, in Europe, have proven success in their vaccines in 2020, which has been further attracting investments in the biotech industry in countries, such as Germany, Russia, and the U.K.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The global market is highly competitive owing to the presence of numerous players across the globe. Moreover, key players are consolidating their market positions mainly by acquisitions, which is further intensifying the competition. Key players directly compete with each other in securing agreements from large-sized pharmaceutical manufacturers. Thus, the competitive rivalry in the global market is observed to be high.

Players are focusing on offering value-added services to attract a greater number of clients. Spray painting, ultraviolet coating, and metallization are the commonly employed processes for coloring packaging containers that are used by packaging manufacturers. In addition, labeling and the incorporation of various anti-counterfeit packaging measures, including overt and covert technologies, such as barcodes, holograms, sealing tapes, and radio frequency identification devices, are often undertaken by the packaging manufacturers.

Key players are engaged in adopting growth strategies, such as mergers & acquisitions and new product development, to expand market penetration. For instance, in June 2019, CCC Packaging, acquired Tri State Distribution, Inc., a retail pharmaceutical packaging solutions provider. The acquisition was aimed to expand its pharmaceutical product portfolio and the customer base. Some of the prominent players in the global pharmaceutical packaging market include:

  • Amcor plc

  • Becton, Dickinson, and Company

  • AptarGroup, Inc.

  • Drug Plastics Group

  • Gerresheimer AG

  • Schott AG

  • Owens Illinois, Inc.

  • West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

  • Berry Global, Inc.

  • WestRock Company

  • SGD Pharma

  • International Paper

  • Comar, LLC

  • CCL Industries, Inc.

  • Vetter Pharma International

Pharmaceutical Packaging Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 117.2 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 219.2 billion

Growth rate

CAGR of 9.4% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2017 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Material, product, end use, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Central & South America; Middle East & Africa

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; Mexico; U.K.; Germany; France; Italy; Spain; Russia; Turkey; China; Japan; India; South Korea; Brazil; Argentina; Egypt

Key companies profiled

Amcor plc; Becton, Dickinson, and Company; AptarGroup, Inc.; Drug Plastics Group; Gerresheimer AG; Schott AG; Owens Illinois, Inc.; West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.; Berry Global, Inc.; WestRock Company; SGD Pharma; International Paper; Comar, LLC; CCL Industries, Inc.; Vetter Pharma International

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

Pricing and purchase options

Avail customized purchase options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchase options

Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global pharmaceutical packaging market report on the basis of material, product, end use, and region:

  • Material Outlook(Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Plastics & Polymers

      • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

      • Polypropylene (PP)

      • PET

      • PE

      • PS

      • Others

    • Paper & Paperboard

    • Glass

    • Aluminum Foil

    • Others

  • Product Outlook(Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Primary

      • Plastic Bottles

      • Caps & Closures

      • Parenteral Containers

      • Blister Packs

      • Prefillable Inhalers

      • Pouches

      • Medication Tubes

      • Others

    • Secondary

      • Prescription Containers

      • Pharmaceutical Packaging Accessories

    • Tertiary

  • End-use Outlook(Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • Pharma Manufacturing

    • Contract Packaging

    • Retail Pharmacy

    • Institutional Pharmacy

  • Regional Outlook(Revenue, USD Million, 2017 - 2028)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

      • Mexico

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

      • France

      • Italy

      • Spain

      • Russia

      • Turkey

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

      • India

      • South Korea

    • Central & South America

      • Brazil

      • Argentina

    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

      • Egypt

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