Medical plastics market to reach nearly US$7 bn by 2020

The global medical plastics market is expected to reach more than US$6.9 billion by 2020, driven by the ageing population and increasing the demand for existing and new medical technologies as well as growing application sectors globally. This is an overarching finding from the new report by industry research firm Markets and Markets titled Medical Plastics Market by Type, by Application, and by Region - Forecast to 2020.

A fragmented market owing to the large number of buyers and limited availability of suppliers across the globe, the global medical plastics market is also marked with an increasing rivalry among the players to obtain majority of the patents for medical plastics-based applications. Some major global players have adopted various organic and inorganic developmental strategies.

These strategies majorly include expansion, merger & acquisition, partnerships, and new product launch & product development to achieve growth in the medical plastics market. They mainly focus on providing high-quality and low-cost medical plastics.

In terms of material, the report has stated that polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reigns as the largest medical plastics by type, and the third most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, after polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

The demand for PVC is more as PVC is compatible with different kinds of additives that make it a versatile polymer and thus suitable to be used in manufacturing of medical plastics. PVC is widely used in manufacturing of Class I medical devices. Medical devices that are manufactured using PVC can be easily sterilized using such methods as steam, radiation, or ethylene oxide. The two main applications for medically approved PVC compounds are flexible containers and tubing.

As for application for medical plastics, the disposable medical devices are found to chalk up the largest market.

Disposable medical devices can be disposed or can be thrown away once they are used. Medical devices such as contact lenses, hypodermic needles, disposable enemas, dialysis disposables, medical and cleaning gloves, and other medical products are considered in this segment.

Among the major disposable medical devices, dialysis disposables witness the fastest growth rate globally, because of increasing end-stage kidney disorders and high frequency of therapeutic requirements. Polymers such as silicone hydrogel, PE, polystyrene (PS), epoxy resins, and PP are used for manufacturing disposable medical devices.

The demand for disposable medical devices is more in the emerging economies as the health care sector in these economies has expanded and modernised.

Meanwhile, Europe clinches the largest market for medical plastics globally, owing to the rising demand in medical devices as awareness grows for early diagnosis and treatment of countless diseases in European countries.

The European Union has a positive outlook for the medical industry. The emerging technology in the region has allowed it to produce better quality medical devices.

The medical device manufacturers are attracted towards Europe, as it is easy to get fast approvals and the regulatory bodies are flexible. This acts as a great advantage for the manufacturers because this reduces the launch time of the device. Thus, Europe is witnessing a large number of acquisitions and expansions in the medical and healthcare industry.


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