Canadian Plastics

Pharmaceutical label demand to grow over 7 per cent annually through 2020: report

February 15, 2017   Canadian Plastics

Global demand for labels in pharmaceutical applications is projected to increase 7.1 per cent annually to 5.1 billion square meters in 2020, a new study said, which will be the fastest growth rate among major label markets.

The study, by market research firm The Freedonia Group, noted that trends favoring the use of smaller-sized medication containers will increase the number of labels required by pharmaceutical manufacturers, as will overall increases in drug production.

“Growth in pharmaceutical label demand will also benefit from intensified efforts to combat drug counterfeiting and diversion,” the report said. “This trend will shift consumption toward higher value-added products with enhanced security features such as RFID tags, serialization codes, holograms, colour shifting inks, and other anti-piracy measures.”

The largest share of demand for pharmaceutical labels exists in adhesive-sealed and pressure sensitive paper configurations that are sold in rollstocks, the study also noted. “Clear plastic and silk-screened configurations are gaining market share due to their high visibility and tamper-evident features,” it said.


Most of the global market for pharmaceutical labels is divided between security and standard types. “Security labels, which include authentication markings and/or track and trace features to inhibit drug counterfeiting and diversion, will continue to post faster growth,” the study said. “However, standard labels will sustain widespread usage in the packaging of generic ethical drugs and non-proprietary over-the-counter products. These pharmaceuticals are less vulnerable to counterfeiting and diversion due to their lower prices.”


Standard labels will also continue to dominate applications involving prescription drugs dispensed by retail and mail order pharmacies, the study said.

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