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Since the discovery of Penicillin in 1928, antibiotics are highly relevant for the curing of infections. It is, hence, not surprising that the global antibiotics market is constantly growing.

Pharmaceutical glass ensures the stability of the drug.
Empty injection and infusion bottles on light background
Rising market

The annual growth rate is expected to amount to 4.5%. The major driver for the increasing demand of antibiotics is a rising number of bacterial infections.

doctor with mask holding an injection-vial

Market analysis

The global antibiotics market was valued at USD 40.7 billion in 2020. Between the years 2021 to 2028 the worldwide market is expected to have an annual growth rate of 4.5%. Additionally, relevant are suitable packaging solutions for these medical products. The highly sensible drugs need primary packaging that fulfils the highest hygienic standards. As a sustainable and inert material, glass often is the first choice for packaging antibiotics.

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Key drivers and restraining factors of the antibiotics’ market

The major driver for the increasing demand of antibiotics is a rising number of bacterial infections. Such diseases include urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, tuberculosis or skin infections. Today and on a global scale, tuberculosis is still one of the most deadly illnesses. Experts predict bacterial infections increasing even more until 2050. A negative growth rate of 13.74 %, however, was measured in 2020 attributed to COVID-19. The virus has led to a decrease of misusage, since patients only visited health care providers if absolutely necessary. Researchers, nonetheless, expect similar growth rates as in the years 2017 to 2019, once the pandemic is over.

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doctor draws up syringe from injection vial

Segmentation of the antibiotics’ market

The market can be segmented by product type, fields and types of application, geographical area and distribution channels.

Product types of antibiotics

These are the most common antibiotics by product type:

  • Penicillin
  • Cephalosporin
  • Aminoglycosides
  • Tetracycline
  • Macrolides
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Sulfonamides

Penicillin has had the largest market share in 2020 and is expected to dominate the market in the near future, due to the high number of issued prescriptions and the numerous generic manufacturers all over the world.

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doctor examines child
Injection bottles for antibiotics on a production line

Application of antibiotics

In terms of application fields, antibiotics are mostly used to cure skin infections, respiratory infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal infections. In 2020 respiratory infections led to the highest consumption of antibiotics.

Regarding application types, antibiotics can be used orally or parenteral, latter dominating the market in 2020.


What are the main distribution channels of antibiotics?

The three distribution channels of antibiotics are hospitals, retail pharmacies and online pharmacies. Pharmacies in hospitals dominated the market in 2020, however, due to the pandemic online pharmacies experienced incrementing sales and the trend is expected to prevail in the near future.

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Relevant geographical areas

The demand for antibiotics on a geographical level is not so straight forward: Even though the global demand for antibiotics rises, the use of the drugs slightly decreased in The United States, Europe and Canada in 2020. The reason is the past overuse of the drug and, hence, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant infections. As a consequence, governments and health care agencies of developed countries implement measurements to avoid the misuse of antibiotics.

On the other hand, developing countries suffer from the rising number of infectious diseases. Big markets such as China, India and the Middle East, but also Africa, have a significant need for antibiotics. In 2020 Asia-Pacific was market leader with a share of 45.2 %.

Health care agencies in these countries have an interest in reducing hospital admissions due to the aforementioned infections and therefore push the consumption of the oral drugs.

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Father gives daughter antibiotics with spoon

The ideal packaging solutions for antibiotics

Especially for the parenteral application type, antibiotics are ideally packed in glass injection and infusion bottles. The sensible nature of the drugs is protected by the material. In fact, glass acts as a natural barrier and avoids that the product interacts with its packaging and that particles from outside enter the vial. In other words,  pharmaceutical glass as a primary packaging material ensures the stability of the drug. Moreover, the material’s clarity allows inspections and precise dosing, crucial for pharmaceutical products.

Similarly, glass packaging is a flexible and cost-effective choice for antibiotic dry suspensions as well, often filled in type 3 soda lime syrup bottles with filling mark.

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One-stop-shop by Stoelzle

Stoelzle produces according to strict safety and quality standards and offers a wide range of suitable glass vials in amber or flint glass. The products are available in both glass type 2 and glass type 3. Due to the modern manufacturing method, the EcoSecur type 2 injection vials and infusion bottles by Stoelzle are produced in a resource and environmentally friendly manner. In fact, this process of inner surface treatment ensures a precise dosage tailored to all bottle sizes.

Indeed, our customers have a vast choice regarding volume and shape. Moreover, products are available with child resistant closures and caps, so that the delicate drug cannot be opened by children.

Stoelzle’s one-stop-shop mentality, the adherence to the guidelines of ‘Good Manufacturing Practices GMP’ and the application of the standard ISO 15378 lead to a high customer satisfaction and a dominating role in the packaging market.

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Medicine bottles on production line
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