Health Care

We need to reduce soaring health care costs, improve the efficiency of the current system and enhance the quality of care. The NAM is working aggressively to drive down health care costs and ensure reforms to America’s health care system are smart and effective—and work for manufacturers and our employees.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Congratulate McDonough on VA Nomination

Timmons: "He brings a focused, collaborative approach to any mission, and he has proven a strong commitment to our nation’s veterans"

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement nominating Denis McDonough for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Throughout his career, Denis McDonough has proven to be a leader of extraordinary capability. He brings a focused, collaborative approach to any mission, and he has proven a strong commitment to our nation’s veterans. We congratulate him on this announcement.

“Through The Manufacturing Institute’s Heroes MAKE America initiative, manufacturers are working every day to help our veterans and members of the military community find new careers in modern manufacturing. We have been working with the VA to support the veteran community in translating their skills into new opportunities in our industry. We look forward to working with Secretary-designate McDonough and the VA in the Biden administration to build on this work—supporting our heroes and strengthening manufacturing in America.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

About the MI

The MI grows and supports the manufacturing industry’s skilled workers for the advancement of modern manufacturing. The MI’s diverse initiatives support all workers in America, including women, veterans and students, through skills training programs, community building and the advancement of their career in manufacturing. As the workforce development and education partner of the NAM, the MI is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with resources necessary to solve the industry’s toughest challenges. For more information on the MI, please visit creatorswanted.org 

About Heroes MAKE America

Heroes MAKE America, an initiative launched by the MI to build connections between the military community and manufacturing industry, is a Department of Defense (DoD) SkillBridge approved training program that equips participants with the skills and certifications needed to find and excel in manufacturing careers. Service members, their families, veterans and reservists are eligible for the program which currently operates at military installations in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Kentucky and Kansas. The Heroes team recently launched Heroes Connect, a 100 percent virtual offering that allows prospective talent from the military community to connect with hiring managers from manufacturing companies. The new offering was created to supplement a cornerstone of the Heroes program which was to provide weekly tours of manufacturing facilities looking to hire Heroes graduates. For more information on Heroes initiative, please visit themanufacturinginstitute.org/veterans/heroes-make-america

Business Operations

The Timeline for the Vaccine Rollout

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The counteroffensive against the pandemic entered its next phase earlier this week, when 90-year-old Maggie Keenan became the first Brit to receive the initial dose of the United Kingdom’s rollout of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the U.S. effort is also moving forward, with some big milestones coming up this month. Here’s what the timeline looks like.

Dec. 10: The Vaccine Advisory Board at the Food and Drug Administration will meet to consider emergency approval of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dec. 11 or 12 is likely to see the beginning of U.S. inoculations for the Pfizer vaccine, since they are expected to begin 24–48 hours after FDA approval.

Dec. 17: The Vaccine Advisory Board is expected to consider Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dec. 18 or 19: Moderna’s vaccine is set to reach patients.

End of December: 40 million doses of vaccine are expected to be delivered by Pfizer and Moderna, which will cover approximately 20 million people.

January or February 2021: Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine is expected to come online, offering additional options and capacity for COVID-19 vaccines, while deliveries of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are expected to multiply nationally. The goal is to have another 80 million people vaccinated during these two months.

By June 2021: 600 million vaccines in total are expected to be produced by a range of manufacturers, which means that everyone who wants a vaccine will have access to it at little to no cost.

Press Releases

Manufacturers on Incoming COVID-19 Coordinator

Timmons: “Jeff Zients is exactly the right choice to help lead the next administration’s COVID-19 response.”

Washington, D.C. – Following President-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of Jeff Zients to lead the Biden administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Jeff Zients is exactly the right choice to help lead the next administration’s COVID-19 response. The NAM always enjoyed a strong and productive relationship with Jeff in his previous role, and he is the right person for this job. He is well suited for addressing both the economic and public health challenges we face. Manufacturers can always count on him to be responsive and candid, and you can’t overstate how valuable it is to have that open channel of communication—especially now that his new role will involve helping to lead America out of this ongoing crisis.

“Manufacturers are encouraged that alongside Jeff will be experienced medical experts to effectively communicate and implement the policies needed to move our country forward. Throughout the pandemic, manufacturers have stepped up to provide leadership for our country—from encouraging smart health practices to producing personal protective equipment and developing vaccines. We are committed to continuing that leadership until we defeat COVID-19, and we are ready to work closely with Jeff, and the rest of the incoming administration, to achieve a strong economic recovery and American renewal.”

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 62% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org

Business Operations

How Pfizer Will Deliver Its Vaccines

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Pfizer is working around the clock to ensure an efficient and speedy distribution of its potential COVID-19 vaccine, pending emergency use authorization in the United States. To do so, it has developed an innovative packaging and storage solution that just might help save the world.

The challenge: Beyond developing a vaccine in the shortest time frame ever attempted, researchers at Pfizer must ensure that hundreds of millions of vials of its potential COVID-19 vaccine are kept frozen at extreme temperatures (-70 degrees Celsius) as they are shipped across the globe.  

The solution: Pfizer got to work designing, engineering and manufacturing temperature-controlled thermal shippers that use dry ice to maintain the required temperature until the point of vaccination.

Once in transit: Pfizer will monitor GPS-enabled thermal sensors in every thermal shipper from a control tower, which will track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment along its preset route. That means Pfizer can prevent unwanted deviations before they happen. 

Once on site: After arriving at the points of use, providers will have three options for storage:

  • Ultralow temperature freezers, which are commercially available now and can extend shelf life for up to six months.
  • Refrigeration units commonly available in hospitals, which can safely store the vaccine for up to five days at 2–8 degrees Celsius.
  • The same Pfizer thermal shippers that carry doses during shipping; these can serve as temporary storage units for up to 15 days as long as they are refilled with dry ice.

The last words: “We have developed detailed logistical plans and innovative tools to support effective vaccine transport, storage and continuous temperature monitoring. Leveraging those resources and based on our track record, we are very confident in our ability to distribute large quantities of our potential COVID-19 vaccine to customers with different infrastructures in all parts of the country and all markets across the globe,” said Pfizer Vice President, BioPharma Global Supply Chain Tanya Alcorn.

“Pfizer is proving yet again that manufacturers’ ingenuity knows no bounds. The progress they have made on a vaccine alone is incredible, and the innovative way they have now addressed these distribution challenges is impressive. It shows manufacturers’ unwavering commitment to saving lives and helping to lead America out of this crisis,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Disagree with HHS Socialistic Price-Setting Plan

Timmons: “What this dangerous precedent will do is stifle the development of treatments and vaccines to combat future pandemics”

Washington, D.C. – Following the Trump Administration’s announcement on implementing a Most Favored Nation approach to pricing of Medicare Part B drugs, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers in America are driving global pharmaceutical innovation. Recent COVID-19 vaccine and therapy developments underscore the value of that leadership. As the coronavirus tightens its grip on the country, we should not be looking at failed price-setting schemes as a solution. While producing the essential supplies needed to fight the virus, manufacturers are also working to provide affordable medicines and therapies to the public. We believe strongly in lowering health care costs, but the socialist policies outlined today will not aid in the effort.

“What this dangerous precedent will do is stifle the development of treatments and vaccines to combat future pandemics, Alzheimer’s or cancer while also limiting access to critical products for those most in need. Competition and free market principles are the foundation of a strong economy, and now is not the time to abandon those values.”

Currently, the NAM is running an ad on the dangers of price indexing. To view the ad, click here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Policy and Legal

Vaccines: What’s Next?

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The creation of several safe and effective vaccines within a single year is historic. But what can we expect to happen next? NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling spoke to us about the vaccine rollout—and what this achievement tells us about the state of American public policy.

What’s next: For Pfizer and Moderna, the next step is to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization. In fact, Pfizer is set to do so today, though the approval process is likely to take a few weeks.

The vaccine manufacturers are also focusing on the rollout process.

  • That includes not only mass production, but also mass distribution across 64 jurisdictions that include every state, territory and tribal nation in the United States.
  • Those jurisdictions have submitted plans to the Department of Health and Human Services for consideration, and manufacturers will work with all governments to make the process go smoothly.

How they’ll do it: In some cases, this will involve a public–private partnership with manufacturers through Operation Warp Speed, which will help distribute kits that include needles, vials, alcohol wipes and other important elements.

  • It will also involve a system for ordering and tracking vaccines that allows the federal government to keep tabs on who is getting the vaccine and when.
  • Some vaccines require two doses, which means that coordination is especially key—local governments and manufacturers must ensure that patients can get a second dose at the right time.

It takes a village: Boerstling emphasized that the vaccines’ development relied not just on a few pharmaceutical companies, but on many manufacturers—as well as an ecosystem that supports innovation, collaboration and discovery.

  • “The fact that our biopharmaceutical manufacturing community had the platforms to do what it has accomplished in a very short time is nothing short of amazing,” said Boerstling.
  • “But given the expertise, research and development investment, access to capital and all the things that make our industry competitive in the United States, it’s also something that we can expect in this ecosystem. It’s a testament to our ability to mobilize quickly and create progress.”

The bottom line: Most importantly, Boerstling emphasizes, vaccines protect us against this virus—and manufacturers must get the word out. “Vaccines work,” she says. “They protect Americans from adverse health events. And COVID-19 is the most adverse health event in our lifetime.”

Business Operations

Porta-King CEO Steve Schulte Talks Health Care

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Steve Schulte began his career running Porta-King Building Systems, a portable building manufacturer, five decades ago. At the time, the Montgomery City, Missouri, business had just 10 employees—but as it grew, Schulte decided to offer health insurance to his employees to attract and retain a high-quality workforce.

Over time, Schulte became an advocate of providing benefits like health care to manufacturing employees—and when the NAM started developing NAM Health Care to extend affordable coverage to small manufacturers, Schulte wanted a seat at the table. Today, he serves as the chair of the NAM Health Care program’s governing committee.

“I thought it was very important for small businesses to be part of a larger group to help improve the cost of their health care,” said Schulte. “Knowing how expensive it is in today’s market—as a small manufacturer, it’s very difficult to get a competitive rate. Being a part of a larger group offers a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to get involved.”

How it works: NAM Health Care is an association health plan created by the NAM, Mercer and UnitedHealthcare. It allows manufacturers with fewer than 100 employees to band together to purchase affordable coverage that is usually available only to larger companies. Offering a range of benefits and savings, the program is tailored to manufacturers and provides tools that make the process of offering health benefits easy.

NAM Health Care is operated by the plan’s governing committee, which is made up of mostly small and medium-sized manufacturers. The committee manages the NAM’s medical, dental, vision and life plans with the support of Mercer and UnitedHealthcare.

The benefits: While Schulte’s company is too large to take advantage of NAM Health Care, he knows that the initiative still provides important benefits for his company. By helping his smaller suppliers attract and retain high-caliber employees, he can strengthen his own supply chain and the manufacturing workforce as a whole.

The last word: “As time goes on and it becomes more well known in the manufacturing community that the NAM has this offering, it will continue to grow,” said Schulte. “I’m a believer in the program. I’m delighted to be a part of the beginning stages and to be able to see the success we’ll continue to have.”

To learn more about the program, go here.

Press Releases

NAM Appreciates Biden Message and Leadership on Masks

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following President-elect Joe Biden’s encouragement for all Americans to wear face coverings.

“Americans and the American economy benefit from a consistent message on how to control the pandemic in order to bring our economy back and save jobs and lives. President-elect Joe Biden’s message today, which is based on fact and science, is the type of leadership by example that will help us achieve that.

“President-elect Biden is doing exactly what he promised: following the science to defeat COVID-19. We are very encouraged that he has also named a task force to help us defeat this invisible enemy. It is significant that only 48 hours after achieving the electoral votes necessary to be elected, the incoming president focused like a laser on this national crisis in his first address to our nation.

“Since the early days of the pandemic, manufacturers have been calling on our fellow Americans to wear face coverings in public, socially distance and follow other smart health practices, and early in the crisis provided innovative solutions and quickly retrofitted our essential operations to meet the challenge.

“As President-elect Biden said today, while we keep working toward a vaccine, ‘the single most effective thing we can do’ is wear a mask. He’s exactly right, and we hope all Americans will join manufacturers in this simple but lifesaving act.

“Manufacturers and the business community look forward to continuing to work with the Biden–Harris transition team and administration to ensure that our nation successfully restores our public health and recovers economically.”

Background: The NAM’s Creators Respond Commitment encourages our industry to commit to healthy behaviors like the use of face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and other health practices. Join the commitment here: https://www.nam.org/crc/

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.2 million men and women, contributes $2.37 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

Lilly Is Helping People with Diabetes During the Pandemic—and Beyond

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Many people who lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic face a terrifying prospect: that they may not be able to pay for their lifesaving medications. Pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company recognized that people with diabetes would be worried about affording insulin, so it stepped in to help all those in need—whether or not they have insurance.

The big idea: In April, the company introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program $35 copay card to help people struggling financially—and while Lilly introduced it as a COVID-19 relief initiative, the company quickly decided to make it an ongoing program. In addition, starting January 2021, people enrolled in participating Medicare Part D plans will be able to access their Lilly insulin for no more than $35 per monthly prescription as part of the Senior Savings Model.

As a result, everyone—whether they have commercial insurance, Medicare Part D or no insurance at all—can opt in to receive their Lilly insulin for $35 per monthly prescription. For those who received the copay card in 2020, they simply need to re-enroll in the program in January 2021. For seniors, it’s important they enroll in a participating Medicare Part D plan during open enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2020) to ensure they are eligible for this benefit.

A long record of affordability measures: Lilly has always been committed to making sure people get the insulin they need. In 2018, it unveiled the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center—a call center open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, with live operators fielding questions about insulin affordability and finding solutions for people who don’t know where to turn. The company has been able to drop pharmacy prices for some insulin users and has donated 100,000 insulin KwikPens® to nonprofits. And it is committed to solving even the largest challenges.

“If someone calls and says they’re desperate for insulin and they’re almost out, we’ll find a way to provide them with insulin,” said Lilly Diabetes Communications Senior Advisor Greg Kueterman. “We don’t want people rationing insulin. It’s not good for them, it’s not good for their health, and it’s not good for society.”

A new campaign: To get the message out about Lilly’s new initiative, the company is kicking off a program called “Insulin Affordability: Learn. Act. Share.”—encouraging people to learn about Lilly’s insulin affordability solutions, take action if they need the help and share information with friends and relatives.

The last word: “We want people to know that there’s now a solution out there for everybody,” said Kueterman. “No one needs to pay more than $35 per monthly prescription for their Lilly insulin if they take the right actions.”

You can learn more at insulinaffordability.com or by calling the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at (1-833) 808-1234.

News

NAM Advances 60 Pandemic Policies That Benefit Manufacturers

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When the history of COVID-19 is written, it will probably confirm that this was the greatest mobilization of manufacturing power since World War II. From food to ventilators to the vaccines themselves, manufacturers are making the products that keep Americans safe, comfortable and hopeful. And they’ve done it all while contending with an economic crash, a raft of new regulations and new safety procedures that had to be implemented at top speed.

These extraordinary demands on manufacturers call for an unprecedented degree of policy support, and the NAM is making sure they get it. As of September, the NAM has achieved 60 policy wins for manufacturers. We recently talked to NAM Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse about the NAM’s work over the past six months. Here is a condensed interview.

The plan: The NAM’s three watchwords throughout the pandemic have been “response, recovery and renewal”—in that order, says Newhouse.

  • “The response phase focused on immediate health care needs like PPE; the recovery phase centered around businesses’ reopening needs and support for employees; and our long-term renewal efforts worked to strengthen the overall sector and economy.”
  • The first few months were occupied with response and recovery, but by late summer, policymakers started thinking about long-term renewal, Newhouse explains.
  • The NAM worked out a broad program of reform, which included onshoring and reshoring policies. “That’s actually a conversation we’ve been driving for a long time, because the U.S. should be the best place in the world to manufacture.”

What’s next? Manufacturing continues to struggle in this recovery phase, so policymakers need to do even more. As Newhouse put it, “A bipartisan stimulus package is important, and we hope Congress can come together with the administration to put additional liquidity into the economy, provide a safety net for employees, support the health care sector and create liability protections for businesses.”

How the NAM succeeded: Relationships were absolutely key, Newhouse says. “In this environment, with so much incoming and so little time, policymakers turned to people they trusted—and that included the NAM. This was a real test of the association’s strategy and credibility, and our hard work over the past few years paid off.”

He continued, “At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, [NAM President and CEO] Jay [Timmons] called for an all-hands approach. He challenged the NAM to rethink who we are and refocus to ensure we were being as effective as possible to meet the crisis. That’s exactly what we’ve done.”

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