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Developed countries including the United States, Japan and the members of the European Union represent the largest segment of the global pharmaceutical packaging market, with demand continuing to grow steadily, a new report by MarketsandMarkets reveals. Over the years through 2018, the global pharmaceutical packaging market is predicted to reach $78.79 billion, with Europe, Japan and the United States accounting for about 70% of the entire market.

Although the United States will hold on to its leading position as the world's largest consumer of pharmaceutical packaging products, the market is expected to grow at a slower rate than the global average. By contrast, Japan is likely to see double-digit growth between 2013 and 2018, which would propel the Asian country ahead of other major markets.

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Product-wise, the largest segments of the pharmaceutical packaging market are plastic bottles and blister packs, topping the chart in terms of revenue, the report noted. These two products alone represent 35.8% of the total pharmaceutical market. Plastics and polymers stand out as preferred materials, accounting for the biggest category on the market. By contrast, glass and metal are losing ground as they are less flexible and less cost-effective.

Over the next few years the fastest growing segments will be pre-fillable syringes, inhalers, medication tubes, vials, labels and accessories, MarketsandMarkets said.