1. US Public Policy
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3M is dedicated to increasing supply to help protect citizens.

3M has a unique and critical role in the fight against COVID-19
We understand the extraordinary challenges facing health care workers every day and we’re committed to serving them as they fight COVID-19. Therefore, 3M is dedicated to transforming our supply chain to support U.S. demand for N95 Respirators during this difficult time. We are working around the clock and closely with the U.S. Administration to meet the United States’ needs.
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Understanding U.S. Production Capabilities

What we are doing

At 3M we are dedicated to improving and transforming our supply chain to help better protect citizens.

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    24/7 Production
    More than quadrupled monthly U.S. respirator production, resulting in more than 95 million respirators per month.
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    Accelerated Production of Other Solutions
    Including biopharma filtration for vaccines and therapies, hand sanitizers and disinfectants.
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    Majority of N95 Production for Healthcare
    Helping frontline workers and first responders get needed protective equipment.
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    Authentication and Combatting Price Gouging
    Helping identify authentic 3M products and stopping those exploiting demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic.
3M Actions to deliver respirators within the U.S. video

Prioritizing supplies to most critical areas.

  • 3M respirators boxed on pallets ready for shipping
    • Since April, 3M has been working with FEMA to distribute N95s to hospitals, frontline workers and other critical areas.
    • 3M is eager to assist efforts to address rural and underserved areas with data-driven distribution.
    • As a leading proponent of efforts to ensure strong collaboration and information sharing between industry and government, 3M is also pleased to be one of the first manufacturers to join the newly-formed, DPA 708 panel that was created to address COVID response.  This panel – which is comprised of manufacturers, distributors, government entities, trade associations, and others – will enable key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to share information, discuss response strategies, and otherwise ensure our nation is able to continue to improve our collective response to COVID-19.

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Equitable Distribution to Rural and Underserved Areas

During the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critically needed protection for health care workers, first responders, and critical infrastructure has been a top priority for 3M.

Since the start of the pandemic, 3M has been serving the needs of frontline medical workers and first responders via distribution and government-managed stockpiles

  • Over the past year, 3M has delivered 300 million respirators to healthcare customers in the U.S..
  • 3M is also filling significant orders at the U.S. federal, state and local level which are also serving the public sector, and specifically public health

  • 3M delivers respiratory protection to healthcare providers at the local level through national medical distributors and through FEMA, with FEMA distributing these respirators to state and local governments.

    • While 3M receives data from our distributors indicating the amount of product that was delivered to a specific customer, we unfortunately do not have visibility of the inventory levels of those healthcare entities. Similarly, for orders delivered to government, we do not have visibility of the inventory levels of the healthcare recipients who subsequently receive PPE from these agencies.

    3M recognizes there are reported gaps in underserved communities, especially in rural and minority areas, and we are working with our partners to close these gaps and solve the “last mile” distribution challenges.

    Better management of the current supply can help address ongoing shortages. Knowing the quantity healthcare providers have on hand at the local level and information about projected utilization rates will enable better management. The federal government should have the ability to gather these data during a pandemic, and then use the data to help address areas of need.

    Outstanding orders are not the best measure of need; rather, the actual level of supply on hand – and the rate at which that supply will be used – is the best way to define need and project demand.

    • For example, if one healthcare facility has a three-month supply of PPE on hand and another has only a one-week supply, the second facility clearly has a more urgent need – and should be prioritized regardless of which facility has an outstanding order.

    The key to solving the “last mile” issue is the gathering and utilization of data – and 3M is eager to work with the federal government to address this challenge and better serve all healthcare providers, including underserved areas.

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Defense Production Act (DPA) Authority for COVID-19 Response

The U.S. Defense Production Act (DPA) is the primary source of Presidential authority to expedite and expand the supply of resources from the U.S. industrial base to support federal agencies in response to a wide range of emergencies, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 3M has been directly involved with several DPA programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

    • Title I – Rated Orders
      • Providing the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) with 172.9 million N95 respirators.
      • Providing a total of 228.4 million N95, KN95, and KN90 respirators from 3M plants in the APAC region for FEMA to import to the U.S..

    • Title III – Capacity Expansion
      • Increasing our U.S. production through the addition of four new respirator manufacturing lines (supported, in part, by Title III).
        • Assisted 3M’s effort to increase U.S. capacity from 22 million per month pre-COVID to more than 95 million per month today.

    • Title VII – Voluntary Agreement Across Government and Industry
      • Participating in current collaborative effort with industry, government, and others to identify and advance solutions to COVID-19.
        • First manufacturer to join current Title VII team; urging others to join.
        • Repeatedly called for such a collaborative approach throughout 2020.

  • The following are key takeaways from 3M’s experience with the DPA during the COVID-19 pandemic that can help inform future U.S. government actions for a more effective response going forward:

    • If used appropriately, DPA can be a very effective tool.
      • Ensures key needs are filled in a timely manner.
      • Supports more rapid expansion of domestic capacity.
      • Encourages collaboration between industry, federal agencies, and state and local governments.

    • Key Considerations
      • DPA actions should apply equally and equitably to all providers of a product category.
        • Do not target only select manufacturers
        • Do not disadvantage U.S. manufacturers vis-a-vis foreign manufacturers
      • DPA does not resolve “last mile” issues for distribution (e.g. the lack of PPE for rural and underserved areas).
        • Data from end-users relative to actual supplies on hand and utilization rates are needed to ensure efficient and equitable distribution, with the federal government gathering the data.
      • Engage with producers and suppliers early in the process to collaborate on rapid solutions.
        • Can often lead to more rapid responses without the DPA even being invoked.
      • Understand the role of U.S. suppliers in providing countermeasures to neighboring countries.
        • Controlling the outbreak in other regions can help prevent spread of COVID to the U.S..
      • Ensure full transparency on DPA-related contracts and awards.

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Production and Stockpile Policy Recommendations

Through global challenge of all kinds, 3M has partnered with governments and industry partners to help the world recover. In our experience, there are three key elements that make the difference between success and failure – management, manufacturing and mobility.

View our 3M COVID-19 Policy White Paper to learn more.

  • “It’s really about being ready for that surge in demand from whatever crisis may hit.” — Mike Roman, 3M CEO, CNBC Interview, Apr 28, 2020

    The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) – which is managed under the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) – is the United States’ largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency.

    When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile seeks to ensure the right medicines and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency. Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, the SNS is intended to contain enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies simultaneously. However, the US stockpile is currently filled with products that are procured in infrequent, large purchases. As a result, the following problems can arise both prior to and during a public health emergency:

    • Products may be depleted over time and not restocked due to lack of federal appropriations, lack or prioritization, etc.
    • Availability of products is hampered as we live in a world of just-in-time production and just-in-time consumption, with the supply chain being designed and optimized to carry as little excess inventory as possible. Spikes in demand during a surge event — such as during the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak — cannot be met by suppliers who do not have the available capacity.
    • Products in the stockpile that are purchased in large, single blocks at random times expire all at once at the end of the shelf life.
    • Once peak demand for products ends, it is equally challenging for industry to phase-down their production.

    We support a revolving stockpile for PPE and are actively engaged in discussion on Capitol Hill on how to improve the United States’ preparedness (something we’ve been advocating for over a decade). Changes to the management of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) would greatly improve our nation's preparedness for public health emergencies.

    The revolving stockpile approach we suggest could include:

    • Respirators are purchased from manufacturers/suppliers at prevailing government prices.
    • Government owns the inventory.
    • Government allows industry partners to store, manage and rotate stock according to its shelf-life.
    • Vendors charge a monthly inventory management fee for stock rotation.

    For respiratory protection, the SNS management system should be modified from the current model that is based on large, infrequent purchases to a "revolving" method, such as is currently utilized by the DLA. Such a system would ensure supply of PPE will be immediately available to the government when needed; products would no longer risk being expired, as they would be continually rotated; demand surges would be less problematic, due to supplies being continually maintained in the stockpile; and costs to government would be better managed over time, rather than relying on single, large purchases.

  • 3M’s facilities in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Valley, Nebraska have been a key part of the Company’s manufacturing strategy of personal protective equipment for decades, and now more so throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Prior to this pandemic, 3M was one of the only companies to both manufacture and sell N95 respirators in the United States.

    The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) contracts awarded to 3M have allowed the Company to increase production of N95 respirators with the addition of new equipment. Construction of this new equipment began in Wisconsin in May 2020, and was built and installed in a mere 10 weeks, the fastest on record. An additional two lines were built and installed at 3M Aberdeen in November 2020. The equipment originally installed in Wisconsin will be relocated to a new 120,000 square foot expansion in the Aberdeen facility. The Company expects to hire at least 100 new employees as a result of this build.

    These investments have significantly increased 3M’s capacity to produce N95 respirators in the United States – rising to more than 95 million per month by the end of 2020, quadrupling our domestic production from 2019.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • 3M has not increased its prices for N95 respirators as a result of the pandemic. We do not – and will not – condone price gouging, fraud, deception or other activities that unlawfully exploit the demand for critical 3M products during a pandemic. We’re working with law enforcement agencies around the world to aggressively pursue third parties that seek to take advantage of this crisis. We have filed lawsuits in the United States and Canada to fight fraud and have won multiple temporary restraining and preliminary injunction orders in these cases to put a stop the defendants' unlawful activities. All monetary damages we have recovered in these actions has been donated COVID-19 relief efforts. We’re also, in coordination with e-marketplace operators, making referrals to law enforcement authorities, taking down websites with fraudulent or counterfeit product offerings, removing false or deceptive social media pages, and sending cease and desist letters as a first step prior to taking further legal action.
  • 3M is continuing to work with its authorized healthcare distributors to ensure our N95s are being delivered to the areas where they are needed most, including healthcare workers and first responders. With respect to healthcare distribution, the majority of our N95 respirators are distributed through the six major healthcare distributors in the United States, with the remaining healthcare distribution going to large self-distributed hospital IDNs (Integrated Delivery Networks) and smaller healthcare distributors. 3M provides daily updates to FEMA on exactly which healthcare distributor or self-distributed IDN we shipped N95 respirators to and to which distribution center by city and state. In return, each healthcare distributor provides daily point of sale data back to 3M and FEMA when the end user receives units of N95 respirators.
  • 3M’s supply chain has long benefited from NAFTA, and will benefit even more from USMCA. As part of our growth strategy, 3M has manufacturing operations to serve local and regional markets, including the United States. Our supply chains were designed around the ability to serve both Canada and Latin America from U.S. production. Currently, we export less than 10% of our N95s made in the USA to the healthcare and critical infrastructure sectors in each of those countries. We have also brought equipment into the U.S. to support our increased domestic production efforts.
  • We have been closely collaborating with U.S. Administration, FDA, HHS, DoD, DHS, and FEMA to increase production and import more than 228 million respirators. We have been working with the FDA and CDC since the beginning of March to make respirators available to health care personnel and are working with the Department of Defense to increase production and ensure supplies are delivered efficiently.
  • As of late fall 2020, 3M produced N95 respirators at a rate of more than 95 million per month in the US, with the majority going to health care and public health workers. The remainder is deployed to other critical industries that support the economy - as well as contribute to building stockpiles at the federal, state and local level.
  • 3M and the medical distributors are working closely with FEMA to identify hot spots and the needs of states to our distributor network. 3M manufacturers the N95 respirators and then works with the distributors who are responsible for taking N95 units the final mile to the end-user (hospitals and healthcare settings). Traditionally, 75 percent of 3M’s medical/surgical respirators went to hospitals. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, 3M has tripled the amount of our medical/surgical respirators to hospitals. As the risk of COVID-19 increased and the unprecedented demand for PPE across the country increased, 3M also began supplying hospitals with our standard/industrial N95 respirators.

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Articles, Videos and News Stories

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Fighting Fraud & Counterfeit Activity

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    • 3M has not increased its prices for N95 respirators as a result of the pandemic, while also publishing the list prices for many N95 respirator models to help the public identify and avoid price gougers.
    • 3M created a hotline for users to call and get information on identifying authentic 3M products: (800) 426-8688.
    • Report suspected fraud or price gouging here, or call 1-(800)-426-8688
    • 3M has not increased its prices for N95 respirators as a result of the pandemic, while also publishing the list prices for many N95 respirator models to help the public identify and avoid price gougers.
    • 3M created a hotline for users to call and get information on identifying authentic 3M products: .(800) 426-8688.
    • Report suspected fraud or price gouging here, or call 1-(800)-426-8688
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    • 3M is actively working with law enforcement agencies to help identify and eliminate price gougers.
    • 3M has also launched various lawsuits against price gougers and companies manufacturing counterfeit and fraudulent respirators which you can learn more about here.
    • 3M has ended relationships with distributors who have violated our strict standards and will continue to do so.

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Our Commitments in Action

  • 3M is committed to helping teachers and students as they adapt to a new way of learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, we have created a series of videos which explore a variety of scientific topics. 

  • In its continued effort to combat the COVID-19 global pandemic, 3M has provided $20 million in financial support to frontline healthcare workers, vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the virus and medical research initiatives.

  • 3M is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic from all angles and across all relevant stakeholders. View our FAQs, latest news and critical 3M products and resources supporting the fight against COVID-19.

See 3M News Center for more.

3M News Center