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Pharmaceutical Inks Market - Snapshot

Pharmaceutical inks can be defined as an ingestible form of inks that are used on pharmaceuticals to indicate vital information about the medicine such as name and ingredients that it contains. This includes inks used on the medicine, its interior packaging, and exterior packaging. 

pharmaceutical inks market

Increase in Consumption of Pharmaceuticals Driving Pharmaceutical Inks Market

Access to medicines has increased significantly across the globe in the last few decades. This is partly driven by the rise in disposable income and growth in awareness about health in developing countries such as Brazil, China, and India. In turn, this has boosted the consumption of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical inks are used in pharmaceuticals either for printing on the medicine or on the interior and exterior packaging of the medicine. Thus, rise in consumption of pharmaceuticals is driving the demand for pharmaceutical inks. 

Need to Cautiously Select Right Solvent Hampering Pharmaceutical Inks Market

Pharmaceutical inks need to dry quickly after their application on packaging or medicine so that the pharmaceuticals reach the market in time. Therefore, manufacturers of pharmaceutical inks have started using aggressive solvents in their inks. This can affect the quality of pharmaceutical inks and reduce their environment-friendly properties. The usage of wrong solvents in pharmaceutical inks can adversely affect patient health. 

Opportunities for Partnerships between Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Pharmaceutical Ink Manufacturers

Wide range of specialist inks and application-unique fluids are available in the market. However, this can cause confusion among pharmaceutical manufacturers. Pharmaceutical manufacturers can formulate the right ink in less time by working with coding specialists and ink chemists. Ink specialists can anticipate issues and recommend solutions to ensure that manufacturers receive optimal coding performance. One such consideration is the material on which the ink needs to be used. Most materials work well with pharmaceutical inks; however, new high-performance plastics can present challenges for code adhesion. 

Solvent-based Pharmaceutical Inks Commonly Used in Market

Solvent-based pharmaceutical inks are the commonly used pharmaceutical inks among water-based, solvent-based, edible inks, and other types of pharmaceutical inks. These inks can be used on the interiors and exterior of packaging. Additionally, solvent-based pharmaceutical inks are inexpensive. Water-based pharmaceutical inks are commonly used for printing information such as manufacturing date, expiry date, price, and ingredients. The usage of edible inks is limited. They are used on tablets for coloring and information purpose. They are also used on the interior packaging of medicines. 

High Consumption of Pharmaceutical Inks in Liquid Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceutical products are available in different forms such as solids, semi-solids, and liquids. Printing inks are largely used in liquid pharmaceutical products. These pharmaceutical products are available in bottles made from plastic, glass, or other similar materials, which act as interior packaging. These bottles are further packaged into cartons or cardboard boxes that act as exterior packaging. Together, this packaging covers a larger surface area compared to the packaging required for solid and semi-solid pharmaceuticals. This results in larger consumption of pharmaceutical inks in liquid pharmaceuticals. 

Pharmaceutical Inks Largely Used in Exterior Packaging of Pharmaceuticals

In terms of application, pharmaceutical inks are required for printing on exterior packaging, interior packaging, and capsules. The exterior packaging segment accounts for major share of the market, followed by interior packaging and capsules, respectively. Exterior packaging requires large amounts of pharmaceutical inks, as large amount of content is printed on it. Interior packaging of pharmaceuticals requires less amount of pharmaceutical inks, as less information is printed on it. The content printed on these packaging includes manufacturing details and ingredients. Printed capsules require the least amount of inks due to their small surface area. Some tablets have information printed on them. 

Europe is Prominent Consumer of Pharmaceutical Inks

Companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals and those that provide the required printing on pharmaceutical packaging are different. However, all pharmaceutical products are first packaged and printed before they are transported to their destinations. Hence, demand for pharmaceutical inks depends upon the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Europe accounts for significant share of pharmaceuticals produced in the world. Furthermore, the price of pharmaceutical inks differs across regions; it is relatively high in Europe. Thus, the region holds key share of the global pharmaceutical inks market in terms of consumption. North America and Asia Pacific are the other prominent consumers of pharmaceutical inks. 

Highly Fragmented Market

The global pharmaceutical inks market is highly fragmented; large numbers of local companies operate across the world. Multinational companies that manufacture and sell pharmaceutical inks include Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. Ltd., Videojet Technologies Inc., Markem-Imaje, and Sun Chemicals.

Companies tend to focus on particular applications. For instance, some companies specialize in providing inks for interior packaging, while others specialize in edible inks. Large numbers of manufacturers provide solvent-based pharmaceutical inks and water-based pharmaceutical inks, while a few provide edible inks. 

Pharmaceutical Inks Market - Overview

Pharmaceutical inks are used to print vital information such as name, manufacturing location, and expiry date on pharmaceuticals. They are also used to print designs, logos, and colors on medicines. Furthermore, these inks are employed in interior and exterior packaging of medicines.

This report analyzes and forecasts the pharmaceutical inks market at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn) from 2018 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global pharmaceutical inks market. It also covers impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for pharmaceutical inks products during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the pharmaceutical inks market at the global and regional level.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global pharmaceutical inks market. Porter’s Five Forces model for the pharmaceutical inks market has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein types, pharmaceutical types, and applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global pharmaceutical inks market by segmenting it in terms of type, pharmaceutical type, application, and region. In terms of type, the global pharmaceutical inks market has been segmented into water-based, solvent-based, edible inks, and others (including custom solvents). Based on pharmaceutical type, the market has been segregated into solids, semi-solids, and liquids. In terms of application, the market has been classified into capsules, interior packaging, and exterior packaging. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and forecast demand for pharmaceutical ink products in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

The report provides size (in terms of volume and value) of the pharmaceutical inks market for the base year 2017 and the forecast for the period between 2018 and 2026. Market numbers have been estimated based on type, technology, and application of the pharmaceutical inks market. Market size has been provided in terms of global, regional, and country level markets.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global pharmaceutical inks market. Key players operating in the pharmaceutical inks market are Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. Ltd., Videojet Technologies Inc., Markem-Imaje, and Sun Chemicals. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

Key Takeaways

  • Pharmaceutical inks is a fragmented market; a few multinational pharmaceutical ink manufacturers hold significant share of the market
  • In terms of type, the solvent-based segment accounts for major share, as it offers advantages such as low price and good quality printing on a wide range of materials such as plastic and aluminum
  • Based on pharmaceutical type, the liquids segment constitutes prominent share of the market, as interior and exterior packaging of liquid pharmaceuticals covers a large surface area
  • In terms of application, the exterior packaging segment holds dominant share of the pharmaceutical inks market, as it covers a large surface area, thus requiring more pharmaceutical ink compared to that in other applications
  • Based on region, North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific are the key consumers of pharmaceutical inks due to the large scale production of pharmaceuticals in these regions
  • The global pharmaceutical inks market is likely to expand at a sluggish pace, primarily owing to the high pressure on pharmaceutical ink prices and low requirement of pharmaceutical inks per project due to the improvement in printing technologies such as digital printing

The global pharmaceutical inks market has been segmented as follows: 


  • Water-based
  • Solvent-based
  • Edible Inks
  • Others (including Custom Solvents) 

Pharmaceutical Type


  • Solids
  • Semi-solids
  • Liquids 


  • Capsules
  • Interior Packaging
  • Exterior Packaging 



  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
  • Rest of Middle East & Africa 

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Pharmaceutical Inks Market

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