ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, 3M Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Roman delivered the following letter to William Barr, attorney general of the United States; Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland and chair of the National Governors Association; and Tim Fox, attorney general of Montana and president of the National Association of Attorneys General, highlighting 3M’s actions to curb counterfeiting and price gouging of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter also urges federal and state governments and law enforcement officials to continue to lead the fight, with 3M’s support and assistance, against those who are exploiting the crisis by marketing counterfeit products or gouging the public.
Dear Attorney General Barr, Governor Hogan, and Attorney General Fox:
On behalf of 3M and our 96,000 employees worldwide, I would like to offer our support as you protect the public from counterfeiting and price-gouging with respect to critical medical devices, including the respirators and masks that are critical to our country’s medical personnel.
This pandemic is affecting us all. 3M is doing all that it can to support public health and those impacted by this global health crisis. We are mobilizing all available resources and rapidly increasing output of critical supplies healthcare workers in the United States and around the world need to help protect their lives as they treat others.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, 3M has doubled its output of N95 respirators. We are running our manufacturing lines around the clock seven days a week, hiring workers, adding shifts, and activating more production lines. In addition, 3M is increasing its investment to expand its global capacity for manufacturing these respirators by more than 30 percent in the next 12 months. Here in the U.S., 3M currently manufactures more than 400 million N95 respirators annually. This production capacity, as well as our increased production of hand sanitizers and disinfectants, is critical to supporting healthcare workers and first responders. We are also in the process of working with logistics providers and large e-marketplace operators on a coordinated strategy and action plan to ensure products rapidly get to where they are needed most.
3M has not increased the prices it charges for respirators as a result of this global crisis. 3M will not increase its current pricing for respirators being used to help address the pandemic.
We assume you have seen the many reports of fraudulent activity and price gouging involving medical devices, including our N95 respirators. We are currently providing assistance directly to the public to help curb this activity:
We are also in the process of working with large e-marketplace operators on a coordinated strategy and action plan to identify and remove counterfeiters and price-gougers and to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. In addition, we would welcome the opportunity to provide assistance to you as you seek to identify and hold individuals and organizations accountable for making counterfeit respirators or inflating prices.
We will continue to do all we can to support healthcare workers and those on the front lines combatting the COVID-19 outbreak. We stand ready to work with federal and state governments to end unethical actions that exploit this global pandemic and threaten those working so hard to protect public health and safety.
3M Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer