Since the COVID-19 outbreak, 3M has doubled its global output of N95 respirators to an annual rate of over 1.1 billion per year, or nearly 100 million per month.
Now, the company is planning to boost production for at least a year as coronavirus ravages the globe.
“This pandemic is affecting us all, and we are doing all we can to support public health and especially our first-responders and those impacted by this global health crisis,” said Chairman and CEO Mike Roman. “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.”
In the U.S., 3M currently manufactures more than 400 million N95 respirators annually, which is increasingly being directed to support both government and public health response. The company also manufactures respirators at locations in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In addition, 3M is increasing its investments, primarily in the U.S., to expand its global capacity by over 30% in the next 12 months.
The company is also maximizing production of a wide range of other products used in the COVID-19 response globally including hand sanitizers, disinfectants and filtration solutions as the pharmaceutical industry works to find a vaccine to fight the virus.
The company also warned, however, that it has received reports of fraudulent and counterfeiting activities involving 3M products, as well as price increases by distributors.
3M said it has not changed the price it charges for 3M respirators, but it cannot control the prices dealers or retailers charge.