Demand for medical plastics will grow through 2018, says report

An aging population that is driving demand for healthcare products and the continuing trend to replace metal with plastic devices where feasible means that demand for medical-grade plastics will continue to grow in the years ahead. Of the engineering plastics typically used in medical applications, PVC and PP will experience the greatest demand, while PE, PS, PET, and PA will grow at a rapid pace, according to a recent report from ResearchandMarkets, Medical Polymers, Resins And Fibers, Elastomers & Biodegradable Plastics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Share, Growth, Trends & Forecast 2012 - 2018. Elastomers such as SBCs and rubber latex will also fare well, with the latter expected to command the largest market share. Relatively new in the medical segment, biodegradable polymers will exhibit impressive growth rates through 2018, according to the report, and will constitute a major future trend.

Historically, demand for polymers has been higher in the medical device and equipment categories than in medical packaging, says the Research & Markets report. However, packaging is expected to exhibit better growth rates than medical devices and equipment over the forecast period, and demand for polymers will rise accordingly. Other applications such as active implantable devices and tissue engineering will show favorable growth over the next few years, providing interesting opportunities for medical-grade plastics suppliers. Countervailing forces include strict regulatory guidelines and volatile raw material prices, which have held back the medical polymers market, notes the report....

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