What is Driving the Tremendous Growth in Pharmaceutical Packaging?

Manufacturing meets technolocy
Manufacturing Embraces Technology
August 13, 2018
Keith Stout
ACE METAL CRAFTS COMPANY Names Keith Stout as New President
October 17, 2018

Some Answers Might Be Found at PACK EXPO 2018.

PACK EXPO 2018 will run at McCormick Place, in Chicago, from October 14-17. This event brings together over 2,500 pharmaceutical packaging exhibitors, with over 50,000 people expected to attend over course of the 4-day event.

ACE Metal Crafts Company serves a number of OEM customers in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, providing innovative approaches to sanitary stainless steel fabrication, and will be attending the Expo to learn more about the latest in advanced pharmaceutical packaging and automation technologies.

What is behind this impressive growth?

The numbers are impressive on their own: 15% forecasted growth over 4 years, with industry packaging sales expected to reach $1.33 trillion by 2021, but did you know that pharmaceuticals make up 70% of all U.S. shipments? i

There are a number of theories that attempt to explain which force is driving this tremendous growth in pharmaceutical packaging; here is a quick overview:


This theory is rooted in the interesting correlation between pharmaceutical sales and general economic growth; as salaries and incomes rise, more people are able to afford access to medications, which in turn drives growth in packaging and packaging equipment for pharmaceuticals.ii But is global economic growth really strong enough to explain the year-over-year packaging sales increases? The answer is YES, when you take into consideration that currently more than 50% of the world’s population consumes more than one dose of medicine, per person, per day which is up from one 33% worldwide in 2005.


With our aging global population, older individuals are quickly passing younger age brackets in terms of total population. By 2020, the number of people age 65 and older will be greater than the number of children under the age of five for the first time in human history.iii Research and development, which averages 10-15 years for a medicine to evolve, means many age-related pharmaceuticals are now hitting the market place just when the aging population is expanding.


Regulatory controls that were imposed in 2013, and went into effect this year, require transaction documentation and serialization of all prescription products. This means traceability is working to stem the threats of counterfeiting and grey market drugs. Large, multinational corporations now have the resources and financial ability to meet these regulatory requirements – which in turn produces more secure pharmaceutical sales.


The pharmaceutical sector, similar to other highly specialized markets like the chemical market, is one area where consumer habits and demands rarely drive growth or development. Pharmaceutical packaging design tends to place function over aesthetic design much more than other industries. The growing aging population has increased demand for easy-to-open packaging, driving firms to produce new methods and creative designs that maintain product quality and tamper prevention, while balancing convenience needs for older consumers.

ACE Metal Crafts Company’s experience in stainless fabrication for the pharmaceutical packaging industry has brought a deep commitment to these OEM customers. With capabilities well suited for this industry, ACE’s expertise – built over many years – provides a superior level of sanitary finishing.

Regardless of which theory proves to be most accurate, one point is certain: next month’s highly anticipated PACK EXPO will provide an impressive array of exhibitors in one of the fastest growing industries, pharmaceutical packaging and ACE is looking forward to attending!

For more information on PACK EXPO 2018, please visit https://www.packexpointernational.com/index.php/.

[i] PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Market Trends

[ii] PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. 2018 Pharmaceutical Packaging & Processing White Paper

[iii] PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Market Trends