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Pharmapack’s Report Predicts High Growth for Contract Packaging

Survey results suggest positive prospects for contract packagers serving the pharmaceutical industry, along with a renewed commitment to sustainability in 2024.

Kassandra Kania

February 12, 2024

3 Min Read
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Matsou / iStock via Getty Images Plus

Pharmapack by CPHI has released the Pharmapack Survey and Annual Report 2024 outlining prospects for the contract packaging industry over the next 18 months. According to feedback, 6% of the industry had a negative outlook for 2024, while 57% were “moderately positive” about growth over the next 18 months, and 37% were “highly positive” about both their own and wider industry’s prospects.

Aurelio Arias, director, thought leadership at IQVIA, attributes the positive contract packaging outlook to an increasing number of manufacturers launching specialty and biologic medicines in 2024, which will require specialist packaging solutions to differentiate their offerings.

Legislation is also a contributing factor. “This year it will be recognized that policy solutions are required to increase resilience, including an EU Critical Medicines Act and the WHO’s draft pandemic accord,” says Arias. “The crucial point is that these changes to legislation seek to track supply and incentivize diversity of supply, which will necessitate greater packaging services to meet this increase demand.”

Upward trend in sustainability.

Pharmapack’s report includes the sustainability index, which gauges the perception of how much is being achieved in each country in terms of plastic use, water reduction, and device recycling, and therefore has the most progressive approach to sustainability. It provides a window into how far along each country is in terms of achieving optimal sustainability of pharma devices, packaging, and delivery solutions.

This year’s results are encouraging and suggest a renewed industry commitment to sustainability globally in 2024. In fact, the overall index is up 8.6% year over year with every country except India showing an improved score.

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China’s score showed the greatest improvement at 51%. The country has made documented efforts to reduce the waste production of its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturers and is moving toward greener manufacturing decisions due to newly implemented medical device regulations. China is now among the leaders and largest producers of green packaging.

The index shows that the European nations are still perceived as the leading drivers of sustainability in pharma with the top four remaining above all other countries, including the United States, Canada, and Japan. The US saw an improvement of 8.10%, falling short of the country growth average of 8.63%.

The report predicts that this upward trend will persist, with expectations of further rises in the sustainability index’s scores over the next two to three years. Of those surveyed, 62% are investing in waste reduction programs across manufacturing, while half are also looking to improve manufacturing optimization with programs that include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to monitor energy usage and target manufacturing improvements in production lines.

Autoinjectors, on-body devices drive innovation.

The Pharmapack Survey Report for 2024 paints an optimistic picture for the drug delivery and packaging sector, with a convergence of positive trends in innovation, sustainability initiatives, and industry outlook.

The global drug delivery index reports a record high, indicating a trajectory of sustained growth in 2024 driven by the stellar performance of autoinjectors, as well as continued innovation for high-value devices like on-body devices.

Predictions of autoinjectors and syringes accounting for nearly 80% of new device approvals in 2024 suggests short-term preference for less risky and cost-effective solutions, while the popularity of bottles as easily recyclable, low-cost solutions align with the industry’s commitment to sustainability.

About the Author(s)

Kassandra Kania

Freelance Writer

Kassandra Kania is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, NC. She has written extensively about healthcare packaging for a variety of publications.

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