This is leading to huge investments in the pharmaceutical industry, wherein new production plants as well as research laboratories are being set up. At both these places, filtration is one of the most important processes, as the drugs being produced or researched upon must be completely contamination-free.
Thus, with the rising need for medicines, the pharmaceutical filtration market is predicted to grow considerably in the coming years. For the process, membrane filters, prefilters and depth media filters, cartridge and capsule filters, single-use systems, filter holders, and filtration accessories are required. Among these, membrane filters have historically been bought in the highest numbers, as they are being rapidly used for pharmaceutical and other related purposes. The reason is that their installation in large as well as small settings is quite easy.
In such settings, filters and accessories are used for raw material filtration, water purification, final product processing, air purification, and cell separation. Among these, they see the widest application in final product filtration, because of the importance of sterile filtration, active pharmaceutical ingredient filtering, vaccine and antibody processing, protein purification, viral clearance, and formulation and filling solution filtration. These procedures are widely performed during the drug discovery stage, and then, even more extensively during the mass production stage.
The final factor is also why among the three scales of operations, where filters are used — pilot, research and development (R&D), and manufacturing — manufacturing accounts for their highest use. As research and pilot studies are done in laboratories with small-scale instruments, purchasing filters and accessories in extreme volumes is not necessary. However, once the medicine enters mass production, huge volumes of ingredients pass through the machines every day, which is why the filters and accessories need regular replacement.
Around the world, currently North America and Europe are the two largest pharmaceutical filtration markets, as they account for the highest medical drug production and R&D. These regions have already possessed more advanced technology than others, which automatically gives them an edge over other regions. The U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy are the largest medical drug exporters around the world.
Thus, with pharmaceutical production picking up in developing countries, the demand for filters and related accessories would also increase.