The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by increasing the shelf life of the product, automation, and recyclability, and the growing importance of technologies, such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Packaging, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Packaging: Dry medication vials.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, web dispensers for rotary baggage wrappers, multilayer laminated packaging, and oxygen blocking laminate packaging are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Water-soluble packaging films, cartridge type beverage dispensers, and medical syringe packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are detachable drawer-and-shell type containers and barrier coated containers, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the packaging industry

Dry medication vials is a key innovation area in packaging

The purpose of dry medication vial is to store powdered medication. The various type of vials includes plastic tubes, glass, aluminium tubes, and jars.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of dry medication vials.

Key players in dry medication vials – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to dry medication vials

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Becton Dickinson and 117 Unlock company profile
Grifols 51 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 36 Unlock company profile
Takazono 32 Unlock company profile
Omnicell 32 Unlock company profile
Intelligent Hospital Systems 21 Unlock company profile
KIRO Robotics 15 Unlock company profile
Yuyama 14 Unlock company profile
Van Humbeck Family 13 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 12 Unlock company profile
Midea Holding 11 Unlock company profile
Sartorius 10 Unlock company profile
Aquavit Pharmaceuticals 7 Unlock company profile
General Electric 6 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 6 Unlock company profile
Cardinal Health 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Becton Dickinson and Co. (BD) is one of the leading patent filers in dry medication vials. Some other key patent filers in the dry medication vials space include Grifols, Fresenius and Takazono.

In terms of application diversity, Cardinal Health leads the pack. General Electric and Takazono stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Grifols held the top position, followed by Yuyama and Intelligent Hospital Systems.

Dry medication vials containers will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry. In order to ensure the safety of powdered medication, this packaging format will gain popularity.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Top Themes in Packaging 2022.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.