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Rx distributor turns to internal RFID (sidebar)

Medical device packaging market outlook bright

The medical device packaging market is one of the most desirable markets in packaging, providing an above-average growth rate. That’s according to a new study, Medical Device Packaging: Global Technology, Markets, and Opportunities 2005 to 2009.

The study, published by Allied Development Corp. and marketed by Packaging Strategies, was researched and written in the interest of four diverse and distinct audiences: packaging manufacturers and converters; resin, additive, and component suppliers; equipment manufacturers; device producers, contract manufacturers, and contract packagers.

Fortunately for incumbent suppliers, this business has some significant barriers to entry, which have limited the number of companies participating. The barriers originate from the highly customized and regulated nature of the market. These market characteristics force new players to make a major investment in order to obtain the knowledge and capability to compete.

Allied Development says the medical device and equipment industry garnered revenues of US$225 billion in 2004, with medical device revenues accounting for US$75 billion. The category, in total, is currently achieving 8.5% annual growth. The growth rate in medical devices is a little higher, at 9.4% AGR, due to high growth in such segments as orthopedics and stents.

The custom nature of the medical device industry results in many permutations of medical devices, which carries through to packaging requirements. Packaging designs, structure and graphics must accommodate the many device variations, says Allied Development.

Also, the report maintains that packaging materials, structures, and processes must come together to generate packaging in formats that packaging suppliers can sell and distribute. The most popular packaging formats for the medical device industry are: pouches/bags, header bags, lidding material, forming webs, and rigid trays.

Quantitative data are provided on the current and projected consumption for each of these packaging formats in the report. For more information, e-mail Steve Mogensen at —Jim Chrzan

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