Medical plastics are extensively used in thin tubes, disposable syringes, intravenous blood bags, or in huge casing of an open MRI system. The use of plastics for the manufacturing of various disposable medical devices have made health care simpler and less painful. Over the past few decades, plastics have assumed a dramatically important role in modern medicine. Plastics have superior design flexibility, as compared to metals, ceramics, and glass, therefore plastic can be processed into innumerable sizes, shapes, thicknesses, and colors. Also, their properties can be tailored to meet a wide spectrum of physical, mechanical, chemical, and biochemical requirements.
Various developments in high-performance polymers and the related advantages of plastics over other materials have widened the opportunities of plastics in the healthcare sector. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is commonly used in the development of class I medical devices. Medical devices manufactured using polyvinyl chloride can be easily sterilized using methods such as ethylene oxide, steam, or radiation. Different types of medical plastics present in the market include polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP), silicones, and others.
Medical Plastics Market – Dynamics
Increasing usage of medical devices in hospitals is driving growth of the medical plastics market. Medical devices such as MRI plays a vital role in lab tests and clinical diagnostics for inner body insights. Increasing use of imaging techniques such as MRI is likely to boost growth of the medical plastics market. For instance, according to a report published in the National Health Services 2017, around 41 million medical imaging tests were performed in England in 2017, of which 3.49 million imaging tests took place in January 2017, where MRI was performed 0.28 million times.
Moreover, increasing investments by government bodies and private organizations for health and medical researches and development is expected to propel growth of medical plastics market. For instance, according U.S. Investments in Medical and Health Research and Development report 2017published by Research America, investment in medical and health research and development (R&D) in the U.S. grew by 20.6% between 2013 and 2016. Also, private industries invested around US$ 115.9 billion in medical and health R&D whereas, federal agencies invested a total of US$ 37.6 billion, with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) accounting for nearly US$ 30.5 billion.
However, environmental risks associated with the use of medical plastics and the regulatory bodies that impose strict standards on the introduction of new medical devices are major factors restraining growth of the global medical plastics market.
Medical Plastics Market – Regional Insights
On the basis of region, the global medical plastics market is segmented into North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa. North America holds the dominant position in the medical plastics market, owing to the revenue generated by medical devices. For instance, according to the Government Accountability Office's (GAO) 2014 report, the U.S. medical device market was valued at over US$ 140 billion in 2015, which accounts for around 45 percent of the global market.
Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit significant growth over the forecast period, followed by Europe, owing to increasing demand for plastics among medical device and healthcare product manufacturers that has resulted in remarkable technology, enhanced delivery of medical care, and better reimbursement policies in the region. For instance, in 2017, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) replaced pilot medical device recall system with a permanent process, Order No. 29. The new order keeps in place a three-level recall process featured in the pilot program.
Medical Plastics Market – Competitive Landscape
Key players operating in the global medical plastics market include Ensinger, Trinseo, Lubrizol Corporation, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE, and Arkema. Key players are adopting various strategies such as mergers, acquisitions, partnership, and new product launches to retain their dominant position in the medical plastics market. For instance, in 2017, Trinseo completed the acquisition of API Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali S.p.A., which includes API’s manufacturing and research facility at Mussolente, Italy, and all of API’s business, employees, and assets.
Medical Plastics Market – Taxonomy
On the basis of product type, the global medical plastics market is segmented into:
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Polystyrene (PS)
On the basis of application, the global medical plastics market is segmented into:
- Drug Delivery Devices
- Diagnostic Instruments
- Surgical Instruments
On the basis of geography, the global medical plastics market is segmented into:
- North America
- Latin America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East