Future of Pharma Packaging: Sterilized, Personalized & Specialized

January 26, 2016

According to a December 2015 study, the $58 billion pharmaceutical packaging market is expected to surpass $90 billion by 2022. That number, if it were a country’s GDP, would rank right between Ecuador and Oman in terms of size. In other words, it’s a lot.

Like how much vegans like talking about being vegans: a lot.

There are many reasons why pharma packaging is expected to explode in the near future, but perhaps none more important than dealing with regulations around the world. Labeling and security features will often vary country by country, which means pharma sales will rely on the development of packaging solutions that meet highly regulated and diverse market. Add in a global distribution and the temperature sensitive nature of many medications and medical devices and you have an industry begging for innovation.

Here are three areas we expect to see leaps in the next-generation of pharma packaging:


Packaging of diabetes treatments, allergy pens and other devices that involve needles need to be assembled in sterile environments. More people receiving these, and other, treatments means investing in new manufacturing of sterile-filled cartridges and packaging them.


Creating safe pharma and medical packaging involves getting personal. This means better labels, clearer instructions and possibly customized bottles for individuals with identifiable information front and center to reduce the risk of medication mix-ups.

There is also personalization of the products by country and region. In a recent interview on Packaging Digest, one pharma packaging manufacturer outlined how they can create late-stage customization of product saying, “… we can make a naked or unlabeled [diabetic] pens on a large-scale piece of equipment in the United States and then cold chain ship to our facility in Belgium, where we store the pens until QP release for the European theater, label, package, and finalize them in small lots for distribution.”


We Buzzed about active packaging for pharma previously (and will continue to do so in the future), but there is so much more than edible tags or labels that “go bad.” Tamper-evident packaging will become more sophisticated and trackable implants within cases are already being used to fight counterfeiting and theft.


No matter what comes next, Ernest Packaging is your ideal partner for pharma packaging solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our innovative approach to cold chain shipping logistics and packaging format options.