09 September 2009 22:09 [Source: ICIS news]
By Ivan Lerner
NEW YORK (ICIS news)--Government regulations and public perception will continue to have a major impact on plastics for the US healthcare market, an Evonik Industries executive said on Wednesday.
As it is, plastics producers are contending with possible healthcare reform and concerns about bisphenol A (BPA), according to Craig Schmidter, Evonik’s medical market segment manager, performance polymers/moulding compounds.
Even though there is no nationwide ban on BPA in the US, several states have introduced their own restrictions.
In addition, consumer perception demands alternatives, Schmidter said. “Market perception is frequently different than regulatory mandate and certainly influences polymers selection and specification by the medical market.”
Evonik sells Cryo acrylic plastics, which are BPA free, into the medical market.
The market for plastics in disposable, critical-care applications continues to grow modestly by about 5%/year, Schmidter said, despite a slowdown in spending for the more durable equipment and associated disposables in the medical market.
“While the medical market is currently more stable than, say, the automotive or construction markets, [potential] consolidation in the industry and the unclear future of the US healthcare system do affect the market’s stability,” Schmidter said.
While the demand for high-performance and high-quality polymer products will not likely change, the outcome of US healthcare reform efforts is vague, he said.
“There is some concern in the market that profitability could be challenged for the entire industry,” Schmidter said.
Among the medical applications Evonik targets are intravenous (IV) accessories, respiratory and lab filters, filter housings, diagnostic devices and cuvettes, blood collection and separation equipment and dialysis components.
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