Pharmaceutical Vials: The Need of The Hour During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Primary packaging material plays a crucial role in preserving the stability, efficacy and safety of the drug as it is in direct contact with the packaged therapeutic. Additionally, primary packaging material assists in maintaining the sterility and quality of a drug product, while also pro

The pharmaceutical vials market is highly fragmented, featuring the presence of established companies, as well as the start-ups. Examples of some established players include (in decreasing order of experience) Stoelzle Glass Group (1805), Bormioli Pharma (1825), Corning (1851), Rigolleau (1882), SCHOTT (1884), DWK Life Sciences (1887) and SGD Pharma (1896). It is important to highlight that majority (78%) of the pharmaceutical vial manufacturers are based in Asia Pacific and North America.



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The growing complexity of modern pharmacological interventions, such as monoclonal antibodies, and cell and gene therapies, has further prompted the drug developers to develop or identify specialized fill / finish and packaging alternatives that are capable of catering to the specific needs of such novel products. While there are different types of containers available in the market for storing and transporting drug formulations, pharmaceutical vials are the undisputed container of choice for parenterals. The cutting-edge packaging technologies coupled with highly advanced, robotic machinery have enhanced the overall quality standard for the entire vial manufacturing industry.


Further, the market is driven by sales of pharmaceutical glass vials (84%); this trend is unlikely to change in the foreseen future. However, the market share of pharmaceutical glass packaging market and  pharmaceutical plastic vials is anticipated to increase from 16% in 2021 to 19% in 2030. This can be attributed to the fact that a variety of anti-counterfeiting measures, such as tamper-proof containers and invisible packaging coding systems can be incorporated in the packaging components fabricated using plastics. Further, other properties of plastic include light weight, resistance to breakage and versatility to mold into flexible, soft and hard packaging forms.


It is worth highlighting that glass vials were in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when novel vaccines and experimental therapies needed to be produced and packaged for distribution in large quantities. The surge in demand for appropriate packaging solutions in adequate quantities is likely to persist, significantly adding to the opportunity for pharmaceutical vial manufacturers. In future, as drug developers continue to strive to achieve greater flexibilities in their operations, we believe that the pharmaceutical vial market size is likely to witness steady growth over the next decade.


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