Medical plastics are largely used across the healthcare sector for manufacturing diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices, equipment, surgical/non-surgical instruments, labware, prosthetics, implants, and healthcare packaging products.
These offer various advantages over conventional materials such as metals, paper, and glass, including light weight, transparency, enhanced elasticity, and cost-effectiveness.
In this context, the market offers many growth opportunities for resin producers, feedstock suppliers, compounders/converters, and end consumers (considering vertical expansion in the market). The global medical plastics market will grow in tandem with the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
The increasing healthcare expenditure and healthcare infrastructure upgrade initiatives across countries are largely driving the demand for medical supplies and are expected to drive the growth of the medical plastics market, predominantly in the Middle East, ASEAN countries, and India.
The rising prominence of outpatient facilities, mobile units, and home-based healthcare increases the demand for portable and easy-to-use medical devices.
These trends further influence the adoption of medical plastics.Accounting for a significant proportion of the market, commodity thermoplastics (CTP) are much preferred across numerous medical applications mostly due to their low costs, performance benefits, and broader availability.
Mainly employed in packaging, these are used in the mass manufacturing of products such as medical bottles, containers, prefilled syringes, caps and closures, blister packaging, blood bags, and other pharma and medical packaging products.
The medical plastics market in the Americas is highly mature owing to the significant consumption of CTP for manufacturing various medical products.From an application standpoint, medical devices, equipment, and instruments are largely manufactured using plastic components due to trends such as lightweighting and miniaturization.
The increasing switch from traditional surgical techniques to minimally invasive surgical techniques compels OEMs to develop plastic-based, single-use, sterile surgical instruments.
Polycarbonate, among other engineering thermoplastics, is widely used for such applications.
Additionally, the increasing demand for diagnostics, recently boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, further propels the demand for plastics in the medical devices, equipment, and instruments segment. The medical plastics market is highly fragmented, with the presence of global players and several regional and local manufacturers.
Manufacturers fundamentally compete based on price and material quality.
Regulations also play an important role in material development owing to the critical nature of its downstream applications.
Price-sensitive countries like India and ASEAN countries are witnessing a strategic increase in medical supply manufacturing and are expected to attract material manufacturers.
Moreover, the developed markets of North America and Europe are largely focusing on high-quality plastics, defining medical/regulated grade plastic, and are therefore expected to see a rising demand for premium products complementing revenue growth.
While plastics in medical applications offer relatively more lucrative profit margins than other applications, numerous players continue to cater the healthcare OEMs.