Nitrile Surgical Gloves – The Rising Demand in Healthcare Industry

The nitrile surgical glove market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.19% during the forecast period to reach US$734.459 million by 2027, from US$396.944 million in 2020.

Surgical gloves are a type of personal protection equipment (PPE) used to safeguard doctors in operating rooms (ORs). The primary function of these gloves is to act as a protective barrier for surgeons and nurses during surgical procedures, preventing disease transmission between patients and healthcare staff. These gloves serve a variety of functions, ranging from surgical to dentistry applications. There are a variety of surgical gloves for example nitrile, latex, and others.

Nitrile gloves sprang into popularity as a major latex substitute. Nitrile rubber is a synthetic rubber compound derived from the combination of butadiene and acrylonitrile. It is widely employed in the food, medicinal, and sanitation industries. Because of its longevity, temperature tolerance, and strength, it is a good material for surgical gloves, especially for persons who are allergic to latex. While not as elastic or flexible as latex gloves, disposable nitrile gloves are significantly more durable and chemically resistant. As a result, these gloves are an excellent choice for anyone who must work with potentially toxic and caustic substances. They are also ideal for most medical contexts because of their high puncture resistance and lack of latex allergic symptoms.

The increase in surgical operations, as well as favorable steps taken by governing authorities to raise awareness about hospital-acquired infections, are projected to fuel market expansion for nitrile surgical gloves. Several companies manufacture and sell nitrile surgical gloves. For instance, Hartalega Holdings, BerhadAmkay Products Pvt. Ltd., Comfort Rubber Gloves Industries Sdn, Unigloves (UK) Limited, Riverstone Holdings Limited, and RFB Latex Limited are prominent players in the nitrile surgical glove industry. Hartalega Holdings is one of the world's largest manufacturers of nitrile and latex gloves, with a capacity of 35 billion gloves per year.

The multiple benefits of nitrile surgical gloves in end-user applications will drive the market's rapid rise during the anticipated timeframe.

Nitrile gloves are beneficial for industrial as well as medical usage as it holds various advantages which make them more demanding for the end-users. For instance,

  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, nitrile allergies are extremely rare compared to natural rubber latex allergies, which affect over 10% of healthcare professionals and more than 7% of susceptible patients. Taking allergy tests in an emergency might create needless delays in commencing a surgery. Using nitrile gloves also helps to avoid inadvertently creating allergic responses.
  • Nitrile rubber is more resistant to punctures and chemicals than natural rubber or vinyl gloves. As a result, nitrile gloves are extremely adaptable. The material is perfect for medical examination gloves, surgical gloves, and preventing contamination when working with dangerous items like chemotherapy medications.

During the projected period, the hospital industry is expected to grow rapidly in the nitrile surgical gloves market.

The healthcare business is a major consumer of medical equipment and personal protection equipment like nitrile surgical gloves. It encompasses the creation and marketing of items and services that aid in the maintenance and restoration of health. It is one of the most significant industries that is anticipated to rise in the coming years. Therefore, with the increasing number of hospitals and healthcare units, the requirement for PPE will similarly grow. According to WHO, every dollar spent on health leads to an additional USD 0.77 contribution to economic growth due to indirect and induced impacts.

Furthermore, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation, Indian healthcare infrastructure is predicted to reach US$ 349.1 billion in 2022, with the e-health sector reaching US$ 10.6 billion by 2025. Due to the easy availability of e-heath platforms, Nitrile surgical gloves market is anticipated to surge. Additionally, the Indian Government has also taken the initiative of allocating funds for this industry majorly due to the COVID-19 disruptions. For instance, The National Health Policy of India intends to boost government health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP by 2025. Furthermore, the budgeted allocation to the health sector had been boosted to Rs 2,23,846 crore for the fiscal year 2021-22, a 137% increase over the outlay of Rs 94,452 crore in 2020-21.

The nitrile surgical glove market in the United States is expected to be dominant throughout the projected period.

There have been significant market developments and investments made by several U.S. companies that have driven market growth for nitrile surgical gloves. For instance, American Nitrile, a US-based firm striving to produce latex-free surgical masks, opened another US-based nitrile glove manufacturing factory in Columbus, Ohio, in 2021. This assisted American Nitrile in increasing its production capacity to satisfy the demand for nitrile surgical masks. During the same year, Honeywell International Inc. and hospital supplier purchasing firm Premier Inc. formed a partnership to produce 750 million nitrile gloves in the United States per year. Additionally, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has so far contributed $572 million to five glove initiatives. Therefore, the initiatives taken by the government and organizations will boost further growth of the nitrile surgical market.

COVID-19 Insights 

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 raised the demand for nitrile gloves. To meet this demand, Top Glove Corp boosted its production capacity and increased its average selling price. Additionally, revenue increased 6.02% year on year to RM1.23 billion due to consistent sales volume growth, with notably significant growth in the nitrile glove segment, which showed a 14% rise in sales volume compared to 2019. Furthermore, governments and organizations boosted their funding allocation while also implementing strategies to develop the industry. Top Glove, a Malaysian rubber glove manufacturer, for example, boosted its manufacturing capacity in 2021, increasing the group's total number of production lines by 150 and overall production capacity by 17.7 billion gloves per year.