Top 3 Manufacturers of Syringes and Vials

Even as countries around the world work to overcome shortages of personal protective equipment, some policymakers and medical suppliers are starting to consider the next battlefront: developing a vaccine and manufacturing it at scale.

In the United States alone, more than 300 million people may need to be inoculated. This translates into at least as many vials and syringes - or double that amount, if two shots are required. In the U.S., influenza vaccines are primarily delivered through intra-muscular injections. Traditionally, vaccines has been drawn from single-dose vials (SDV) or multi-dose vials (MDV); however, prefilled syringes (PFS) have been used increasingly in recent years, and are the preferred way to deliver vaccines in Europe.

With this in mind, we reviewed publicly listed companies that are likely to experience an increase in demand for syringes, vials and other medical supplies. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

#1. Baxter

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Baxter International Inc. is a Fortune 500 American healthcare company. It manufacturers products that treat acute and chronic medical conditions, such as haemophilia, kidney disease and immune disorders. In 2019, Baxter's net sales totalled US$11.4 billion, up 2.4% on the previous year.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an increase in demand across several of Baxter's product lines. In a statement released on April 30th 2020, the company states that "these products include Baxter's continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) portfolio, IV solutions, certain generic injectables and parenteral nutrition therapies". Baxter has boosted capacity and production to help address surging demand, with all facilities manufacturing products used in COVID-19 patient care currently running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

#2. BD

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Becton, Dickinson and Company, commonly known as BD, is an American medical device company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents. BD generated $17.3 billion in revenue in 2019, up 8.2% on the previous year. Its products are manufactured and sold worldwide, with the U.S. accounting for 56% of sales in 2019.

Through its large Medical segment, BD produces nasal sprays, hypodermic syringes and prefilled vaccine syringes. BD Hypak™, a glass prefilled syringe, is uniquely positioned with high volume production capacity, delivering hundreds of millions of vaccine doses to the pharmaceutical industry each year.

BD is also involved in testing through its BD MAX™ System, a molecular diagnostic platform already in use at hundreds of laboratories in nearly every state across the U.S.. Each unit is capable of analysing hundreds of samples per day within hours. In April 2020, the BD MAX™ System received emergency authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration to perform diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

#3. Gerresheimer

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Gerresheimer AG is a German manufacturer of primary packaging products for medication and drug delivery devices made of special-purpose glass and plastics. In the 2019 financial year, its revenues rose to €1.4bn, up 1.8% on the previous year. Germany and the rest of Europe accounted for 22% and 33% of sales respectively.

Gerresheimer's two largest divisions could benefit from an increase in demand for prefillable syringes and vials. The company's Plastics & Devices division, which accounted for 54% of revenue in 2019, manufactures prefillable syringes and other products for the administration of medicines. The company's Primary Packaging Glass Division, which accounted for 45% of revenue in that year, produces glass packaging for medicines and cosmetics, such as injection vials.

In its first quarterly statement for the 2020 financial year, Gerresheimer was cautiously optimistic about the year ahead: "We continue to anticipate - despite the spread of the coronavirus - revenue growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range for the financial year 2020 ... Our outlook is based on the assumption that the economic effects of the spread of the coronavirus will last for only a limited period of time and that our plants will be able to produce and ship without restrictions."

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