The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global pharmaceutical caps and closures market for 2016-2020. Caps and closures provide protection from the external environment and tamper resistance for food and beverages products, pharmaceutical products, and other consumer and industrial goods. The report also presents the vendor landscape and a corresponding detailed analysis of the top five vendors operating in the market.
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Technavio transportation and logistics analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global pharmaceutical caps and closures market:
- Child resistant and tamper evident closures
- Increased use of COC as raw material
- Replacement of one-piece over two-piece caps
Child resistant and tamper evident closures
The growing use of child-resistant and tamper-evident packaging has gained a lot of popularity in the healthcare market as it reduces the threat of poisoning. For instance, the lid of a bottle can be manufactured so that it can only be opened by pushing and squeezing it at the same time, or peeling off a strong material from the lid of a product. According to Sharan Raj, a lead analyst for packaging research at Technavio, “Many companies have introduced closures with global closures system that adhere to all the regulations formulated by local authorities.”
Similarly, companies are producing tamper-evident products to prevent unauthorized access to the product. These closure will have more than one entry barriers, which once broken can make tampering with a product apparent to the observer. In addition, the packaging will have a distinctive seal/marking, which will prevent counterfeiting of the drug. As per the FDA, all the over-the-counter drugs need to be child-resistant and temper evident closures. The regulation has been passed after the Chicago Tylenol poisoning case, and accordingly all drugs, some of the cosmetics, and liquid oral packs need to have temper evident caps and closures. Some of the generally used re-closable child-resistant closure are press-turn, squeeze-turn, and a combination lock.
Increased use of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) as raw material
Superior quality plastics such as COC are used as raw material in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical caps and closures because of their exceptional barrier properties. COCs are clear amorphous copolymers, which include cyclic and linear olefins. These materials exhibit a unique combination of properties like low density, high transparency, and resistance to aqueous and polar organic media. COC are being used instead of PVC because they are ten times less permeable to water vapor or any other packaging material. These COCs are halogen-free and so are environmentally-friendly. Topas Advance polymer manufactures COC, which is used in caps and closures, pre-filled syringes, needleless injectors, and other drug delivery systems.
Apart from that, other superior plastics like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and PP are also increasingly being used as raw material in the construction of caps and closures because of their excellent barrier properties. HDPE is highly suited to making caps and closures because it is flexible, lightweight, and corrosion resistant.
Replacement of one-piece over two-piece caps
Most companies use injection-molded HDPE closures for packaging pharma products. They are commonly used in Europe and Asia, and are still growing in other parts of the world. Shifting from two-piece closures to one-piece closures requires changes in material as well as the manufacturing process. Single-piece caps reduce the material used and the weight of overall packaging. “Single-piece closures weigh 2 grams less than the two-piece caps and closures. They also have other features such as a large seal angle and require less torque. They reduce resin consumption by 6 tons and carbon footprint by approximately more than 15 tons per 500 million bottles,” says Sharan.
Rexam has come up with a child-resistant and senior-friendly one-piece pharmaceutical closures, SQUEEZE-LOK. It is a one-piece continuous thread closure with no-torque feature added with a squeeze-and-turn mechanism, including a locked position that can be heard, seen, and felt. A snap feature is placed in the lock, which makes a sound when turned, so as to ensure that the pack is locked. The closure adheres to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) protocols, which ensures that these closures can be used without difficulty by adults aged between 50-70 years.
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