Global demand for labels in pharmaceutical applications is projected to increase 7.1% annually to 5.1 billion sq m in 2020, the fastest growth rate among major label markets, according to a new study from The Freedonia Group. Trends favoring the use of smaller-sized medication containers will increase the number of labels required by pharmaceutical manufacturers, as will overall increases in drug production. In addition, growth in pharmaceutical label demand will also benefit from intensified efforts to combat drug counterfeiting and diversion. This trend is expected to shift consumption toward higher value-added products with enhanced security features such as RFID tags, serialization codes, holograms, color shifting inks, and other anti-piracy measures.
The largest share of demand for pharmaceutical labels exists in adhesive-sealed and pressure-sensitive paper configurations that are sold in rollstocks. Clear plastic and silk-screened configurations are gaining market share due to their high visibility and tamper-evident features.