Canadian Packaging

Pharmaceutical label demand to grow over 7% annually through 2020

By Canadian Packaging staff   

General Coding & Labeling global label industry report Global Labels Market 8th Edition The Freedonia Group

New study from The Freedonia Group pegs trends in the global label market.

The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, has released its Global Labels Market, 8th Edition, a a new study predicting the trends of the global label industry for the near future.

  • Global demand for labels in pharmaceutical applications is projected to increase 7.1 percent annually to 5.1 billion square meters in 2020, the fastest growth rate among major label markets.
  • 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.
  • Growth in pharmaceutical label demand will also benefit from intensified efforts to combat drug counterfeiting and diversion.  This trend will 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.

According to analyst Mike Richardson, “These value-added labels are finding increased use in the over-the-counter (OTC) drug segment, where greater competition is boosting demand for labels that enhance the perceived value of products.”


Most of the global market for pharmaceutical labels is divided between security and standard types.

Security labels, which include authentication markings and/or track and trace features to inhibit drug counterfeiting and diversion, will continue to post faster growth.  However, standard labels will sustain widespread usage in the packaging of generic ethical drugs and non-proprietary OTC products.

These pharmaceuticals are less vulnerable to counterfeiting and diversion due to their lower prices. Standard labels will also continue to dominate applications involving prescription drugs dispensed by retail and mail order pharmacies.

Global Labels Market, 8th Edition (published 01/2017, 291 pages) is available for US$6300 from The Freedonia Group.  See HERE for more information.

For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440-684-9600 or via e-mail at Information may also be obtained through

About The Freedonia Group, a division of
The Freedonia Group is a leading international industrial research company publishing more than 100 studies annually. Since 1985, it has provided research to customers ranging in size from global conglomerates to one-person consulting firms. More than 90% of the industrial companies in the Fortune 500 use Freedonia Group research to help with their strategic planning. Company information available at


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