Global Medical Polymers Market: Snapshot
Medical polymers is the collective term used for biodegradable plastic, elastomers such as thermoplastic elastomers and natural, and polymers such as fibers and resins which is employed in several forms in healthcare and medical applications. Generally, ceramics, glass, and metals have been employed as medical supports, devices, and implants. Nevertheless, polymers are considered to be more suitable for medical applications owing to low cost, better biocompatibility, and less weight. Medical polymers are mainly used in equipment and devices such as implants for cranial injuries, joint and hip replacement, and spinal implants. However, the implementation of strict regulations pertaining to the launch of new products along with fluctuating prices of raw materials may impede the growth of the market to some extent.
Over the next couple of years, the demand for medical polymers is likely to gain momentum. The demand for medical polymers is also expected to be fueled due to the mounting geriatric population and growing preference on home healthcare treatments. Ongoing development in the field of polymer science and increasing awareness among consumers are also likely to play a crucial role in the growth of the market. The global medical polymers market is likely to expand at an 8.3% CAGR from 2014 to 2020. It is anticipated to be worth US$17.13 bn by the end of 2020 from a valuation of US$9.80 bn in 2013.
Fiber and Resins to Emerge as Dominant Product Type
In 2013, fiber and resins surfaced as the leading product type with a share of over 85% in the global medical polymers market. The product type which is likely to witness the leading growth rate during the forecast period is biodegradable plastics. Growing need for materials that are biocompatible, especially in implants, is likely to propel the demand for biodegradable polymers in the coming years. Although fiber and resins lead the market at present, it is likely to lose its market shares along with elastomers to biodegradable polymers over the forecast period. The medical packaging and medical equipment and devices segments together held a share of 90% in the global market based on volume in 2013. The demand for medical procedures is likely to rise over time owing to lifestyle changes and growing health issues among people across the globe. The rise in surgical procedures is further expected to bode well for the growth of the market.
North America to Retain Lead with Enhanced Infrastructure
In 2013, North America emerged as the leading region with over 40% of the total share in its bag. The region was closely trailed by Europe which held over 35% in 2013 itself. Asia Pacific is likely to witness the leading growth among all the regions owing factors such as easy obtainability of medical services, enhanced medical infrastructure, and growing awareness among consumers. Europe and North America are likely to emerge as leading consumers of medical polymers. However, Asia Pacific is expected to snip shares from the developed economies.
Some of the top drawer companies operating in the global medical polymers market are Victrex plc., Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, The Dow Chemical Company, Evonik Industries AG, Eastman Chemical Company, and Celanese Corporation.
Medical resins and fibers
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
- Polypropylene (PP)
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Polystyrene (PS)
- Others (Including engineering thermoplastics such as ABS, PC and PET)
- Styrenic block copolymer (SBC)
- Rubber latex
- Others (Including TPU, TPV and TPO)
- Biodegradable plastics
- Medical devices and equipment
- Medical packaging
- Others (Including tissue engineering and cardio stents)
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (RoW)