Medical Plastics Market – Snapshot

Medical plastic is a type of polymers that is used in the health care industry. These plastics possess superior flexibility during the fabrication process. They are light weight and bio-compatible. The cost of production is also low. Thus, medical plastics are employed as substitutes for titanium/stainless steel metals in medical devices. Enhanced materials, especially disposable plastics, boost the performance of a wide range of medical tubing. Medical plastics are primarily employed in areas where metal parts are used in medical devices. Key applications of medical plastics include catheters and syringes, dental tools, diagnostic instruments, drug delivery devices, implants, medical bags, and surgical instruments.

Rise in demand for medical plastics in the manufacture of disposable medical products such as bed pans, inhalation masks, and IV tubes is expected to boost the global medical plastics market. Medical plastics facilitate sterilization of medical equipment, such as tools, surgical wraps, irrigation bottles, and examination gloves, which are ideal for one-time use. Thus, medical plastic is ideal in the manufacture of medical devices and instruments. Recyclability of medical plastics is also a major factor fuelling the global medical plastics market. Being lightweight, these plastics are used to manufacture orthopedic devices, artificial cornea, hearing aids, and thin tubes called catheters.

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Governing bodies across the globe are focusing on enacting stringent regulations on the usage of plastics owing to the health concerns. Medical plastics are recyclable and do not pose much threat to the environment. These factors are propelling the medical plastics market. Rise in innovation in 3D printing for the manufacture of patient-specific prosthetic limbs and orthotic braces is anticipated to boost the medical plastics market, especially in developing countries. Additionally, manufacturers across the globe are aiming to lower the cost of production of prosthetics. The usage of 3D printing technologies can help customize medical implants for body parts such as knees, hips, ankles, parts of spine, and skull. Sterile instruments such as forceps, hemostats, scalpel handles, and clamps can also be manufactured using this technology.

Based on type, the global medical plastics market has been classified into PVC, PE, PP, PS, engineering plastics, silicone and others (including biopolymers and polyamides). Manufacturers of medical devices opt for different types of plastics based upon cost effectiveness, raw material availability, and applicability. Conventional plastics such as PVC, PP, and PE account for significant share of the medical industry. Manufacturers of medical devices focus on employing advanced plastics such as engineering thermoplastics. In terms of process technology, the global medical plastics market has been divided into extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, and others (including rotational molding and compression molding). Based on application, the medical plastics market has been classified into disposables, diagnostic instruments, medical bags, drug delivery devices, and others (including breathing masks and incubators & autoclaves).

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Based on region, the global medical plastics market has been split into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. In terms of revenue and volume, North America dominated the global medical plastics market in 2018, with major consumption from the U.S. The country has large percentage of aging population and long track record of chronic diseases. Additionally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 increased access to health care services for sections of the population that were previously uninsured. Thus, there exists need for cost-effective medical devices to meet the increasing demand of the population. These factors are anticipated to augment the demand for medical plastics in the U.S. In terms of consumption, North America was followed by Europe in 2018. Germany, France, and Italy are the key countries of the medical plastics market in Europe. Key factors driving the medical plastics market in Asia Pacific are growth in the medical device market, government initiatives, and low labor costs. The usage of disposable medical products has increased significantly over the last few years. China is a major country dominating the medical plastics market in Asia Pacific. Demand for medical plastics in Middle East & Africa and Latin America been rising at a moderate pace over the last few years. The trend is expected to continue in the near future.

Key players operating in the global medical plastics market are focusing on capacity expansion and mergers. This, in turn, is likely to propel the global market during the forecast period. The number of players, especially small- and medium-scale manufacturers, operating in the global medical plastics market is significantly large. Therefore, the market is highly fragmented. Prominent manufacturers operating in the global medical plastics market include Exxon Mobil Corporation, BASF SE, Dow DuPont, Evonik Industries AG, Arkema S.A., Celanese Corporation, Covestro AG, Solvay, and The Lubrizol Corporation.

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