By Doug Smock
Published: October 11th, 2011
New Medicare rules coupled with the growth in drug-resistant bacteria are triggering substantial demand growth for antimicrobial plastics. As a result, the global market for healthcare antimicrobial plastics will reach 221,758 metric tons by 2017.
“In the future, emergence of safer, natural and eco-friendly technologies and novel applications for antimicrobial plastics will foster rapid growth and expansion,” GAI said in a press release.
Traditionally, the industrial sector was considered the major hub for antifungal plastics, particularly with regard to construction and packaging industries, according to GAI. However, rising public awareness about contamination and infections is now triggering significant demand for antibacterial plastic products in other markets such as healthcare and consumer products.The specific action triggering explosive growth in antimicrobials in the United States was a ruling by Medicare two years ago that it would no longer cover health care costs for patients who acquire secondary infections while in the hospital. The action comes on top of growth of powerful new bacteria that resist traditional treatments, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).