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Sterile packaging growth projected

Continued increases in surgical procedures and stringent standards for infection control are two factors that are expected to contribute to an 8.4% annual growth in the demand for sterile packaging over the next five years.

So says Freedonia Group (Cleveland OH) in a new study that projects sterile packaging will account for $2.8 billion in sales by the year 2000. Sterile packs will consume 480 million lb of plastic resin by 2000 the majority of which will be polyvinyl chloride because of its intrinsic properties economy and processing capabilities. However industry analyst Kathy O'Brien notes that polyesters and polycarbonates will show the highest percentage gains. They both exhibit good processing characteristics along with compatibility with radiation sterilization. Sterile blister packs like those for Cottrell's sutures will show the strongest growth predicted at 16% per year. The high visibility of the product inside the blister or clamshell allows the user to visually inspect the contents prior to breaking the package seal. This feature reduces the waste generated when a package is opened before the practitioner realizes it contains the wrong product or device. The popularity of preassembled procedural kits for surgery and diagnostic kits are two other types of packaging expected to grow. The complete 181-page study ($2) analyzes the raw materials packaging products and end-use markets for sterile packaging.

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