Tamper-evident Packaging and Increased Offerings in Ophthalmic Packaging Boost Market Growth

The global packaging industry was valued at ~US$ 908 billion in 2017. Constant advancements and innovations are shaping the future of pharmaceutical packaging technology. The vials market is estimated to reach ~US$ 9.6 billion by the year 2027. With high growth potential of the market, manufacturers are innovating on blow fill seal (BFS) vials, adopting measures that tackle counterfeit products, and developing two-in-one prefilled vial designs. Nano-printing allows invisible printing on vials that provide excellent security to combat counterfeiting. Two-in-one vials enable less chances of contamination, and serve as a cost-effective option as compared to traditional glass vials.

Manufacturers are driving innovation in the space of ophthalmic packaging. They are developing two-color injection-molded vials with a luer-lock closure and rubber stopper for ophthalmic liquids that require a calibrated dose. With advancements in the materials and equipment in this landscape, manufacturers are developing child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging that is well-suited for preservative-free formulations. These attributes of vials ensure seal integrity with the help of hot blowing, hot crimping, and cold crimping methods.

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Market Players Increase Expertise for Superior Chemical Resistance with Modular Product Offerings

There has been increasing demand for improved recovery and sensitivity of high- and low-concentrated biological and chemical formulations. This demand is rising as biomolecule sample loss is a problem at low concentrations. Also, non-specific binding and ionic interactions in formulations lead to loss at high concentrations. This is why, manufacturers are developing vials that protect these formulations, which aid in improved analytical results for healthcare providers.

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The concept of ready-to-use products is surfacing in many pharmacies across the globe. This concept primarily caters to ready-to-mix formulations that do not require traditional compounding with a syringe and needle. Manufacturers are also leveraging drug stability in vials without the need for coatings in low-fill applications. This serves as an efficient and cost-competitive fill and finish for consumers, which is achieved through process optimization and improved dimensions for excellent quality and strength in vials.

Boron-free Glass and Efficient Supply Chain Measures Solve Production Limitations

Closed-vial technology has aided in helping to meet the increasing demand for sterile vial fillings. However, certain limitations in this technology are restraining health providers from adopting the same.

Closed vial-fillings bring about many changes to workflow and supply chains that cannot be easily adopted by CMOs (Chief Medical Officers). Closed vials need to be held still during piercing and laser sealing. This leads to high investment costs for the installation of new equipment that supports these closed vials. Closed-vial fillings also require different validation from regulatory authorities as compared sterile filling. Thus, manufacturers must take into account efficacy, quality, and patient safety to develop efficacious closed vials.

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Another challenge that manufacturers face is the delamination of glass in vials. Manufacturers use borosilicate glass compositions to support sterile injectables due to their hydrolytic performance. However, the delamination of borosilicate glass leads to visible flakes and glass lamellae, which has led to many product recalls by companies. This is why manufacturers are introducing boron-free glass to develop vials. For instance, Corning – an American pharmaceutical technology company, announced the launch of Valor® Glass, which eliminates delamination with its aluminosilicate formulation in vials.

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  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest market report on the vials market for the historical period of 2014-2018 and forecast period of 2019-2027, the high adoption of glass vials as compared to alternative containers is propelling the growth of the global vials market.
  • Globally, revenue generated by the vials market has been estimated to be ~6.5 Bn in 2019, and is expected to expand at a CAGR of ~5% in terms of value during the forecast period.

Prominence of Vials for Parenteral Packaging

  • The demand for glass vials has gained momentum in the last two to three years, due to several advantages offered by these products over conventional packaging products. Vials are used for accurate dosing, are user-friendly, and can be easily used at homes too.
  • Vials can be used very easily, and this increases patient compliance. Therefore, the vials market is poised to experience significant growth to meet the growing demand.
  • Owing to their manufacturing and formulation design, vials can be stored easily due to their crack-resistant covering shield, in which the product is stored and transported. The need for ease of storage has led to advancements in prefilled vial materials.

Introduction of Biosimilars in the Market                                                                                                                          

  • With rapid advancements in the biologics and biosimilars market, the demand for vials is expected to rise in the coming years. More number of new therapeutic drugs are being approved to be administrated in the form of vials. Patent expirations of several biologics have led to the introduction of biosimilars in the market. This is likely to enhance the growth of the global vials market.
  • Vial manufacturers are investing in research & development so that they can create sustainable solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers are investing in recovery and recycling facilities in order to support recyclable materials and recycled packaging solutions.

Cost-effective and Ease of Availability through Multiple Supply Sources

  • Although the development of materials such as plastic, over the last few years, has created an alternative to conventional glass, factors such as ease of availability through multiple supply chains as well as high cost-effectiveness are responsible for creating huge demand for glass vials as compared to plastic vials.
  • Furthermore, the ease of manufacturing as well as supplying of various types of glass such, as type-1, type-2, type-3, and type 4 glass, are the key factors driving the growth of the global vials market.
  • Prominent vial manufacturers are continuously focusing on design and product innovation according to the needs of consumers.
  • The growing inclination of various end users such as drug manufacturers towards glass vials is boosting the growth of the vials across the globe. Moreover, glass vials are easily recyclable, and thus, are considered as an eco-friendly material, which eventually propels their popularity. This shifting focus of end users from conventional containers and vials to glass vials is significantly driving market growth.

Availability of Standard Containers with Superior Protective Cases

  • One of the major benefits of glass vials is the ready availability standard containers of different sizes and shapes. Less investment is needed by end users and manufacturers on research and development for the proper design and compatibility of suitable containers while choosing glass vials for their packaging needs. The above factor is anticipated to fuel the demand for vials from consumers. Overall, the global outlook of the vials market is expected to remain positive during the forecast period.

Vials Market: Competition Landscape

  • Some of the key players in the global vials market that are included in the report are
    • Gerresheimer AG.
    • Schott AG
    • Berry Global, Inc.
    • Adelphi Healthcare Packaging
    • Nipro Corporation.
    • West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.
    • Bormioli Pharma S.p.a.
    • Pacific Vial Manufacturing Inc.
    • APG Pharma Packaging,
    • Stevanato Group.
  • Key manufacturers in the global vials market are focusing on expansion through acquisitions and partnerships. In recent years, it has also been observed that, key participants in the vials market are increasing their popularity around the globe by expanding their product portfolios and introducing innovative technologies.
  • In July 2019, Schott AG acquired Australian micro fluidic expert MINIFAB.
  • On 11 July 2018, Gerresheimer AG acquired Sensile Medical. Through this, the company is extending its business model in the direction of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for drug delivery platforms.
  • Gerresheimer expanded its pharmaceutical plastic operations in Southern Europe and South America. It acquired the Spanish company – EDP S.A.
  • In October 2017, Schott AG, in collaboration with Xinkang, started a new manufacturing facility in China. This new plant will produce ~two billion pieces of primary pharmaceutical glass packaging containers a year.

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