June 22, 2017

What’s Up in Pharma and Medical Devices

Medical Devices Going Up

Packaging demands for pharmaceuticals and medical devices have continued to grow over the past few years. In 2015, revenue from pharmaceuticals and medical devices reached $1.1 trillion and $350 billion, respectively. This increase in global demand is due to a jump in the use of pharmaceutical and medical devices, the rising middle class, and an aging population. By 2020, the population of those 65+ will surpass the number of children under five years old.

The largest markets for medical devices are still the United States, Western Europe and Japan. However, the fastest growing markets are in India, Mexico, China and the more developed countries in Africa and the Middle East. The global market is continually expanding and developing markets in such countries will begin to take up some of the market share.

The number of acquisitions has also been a symbol for the spurred growth of the pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Dominant players in the market are forming strategic partnerships with smaller companies to give them a wider range of product offerings. From 2013 to 2015, the number of acquisitions has increased by double digits. There were 371 in 2013, 438 in 2014, and 494 in 2015.

UDI and Serialization Ahead

Next, serialization and unique device identification (UDI) are altering the entire industry as the FDA imposes strict regulations. 52% of companies who were interviewed that are required to serialize their products said that they have already implemented serialization methods. It often proves difficult for companies to validate and effectively communicate with the FDA to ensure that all standards are met.

So what does this mean for packaging? As sales, acquisitions, and FDA regulations surge, companies will shift towards reducing packaging costs by working with contract manufacturers (CM’s). CM’s have the ability to reduce materials needed, thus reducing costs. They can also stay up to date on the regulations levied by the FDA which many firms struggle to stay updated on.

As we manage (and appreciate) our growing industry, partnering for excellence is an effective way to avoid setbacks and get the work done quickly and correctly. Custom packaging for pharmaceutical and medical devices also means validation requirements will be necessary. Thanks for considering Packaging Compliance Labs and visiting our website. Our live chat can connect you to an engineer if you have a question, or contact us.


Izquierdo, Jorge, and Paula Feldman. Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Trends and Opportunities in Packaging Operations Executive Summary 2016. Rep. The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Nov. 2016. Web