Life Sciences Need Cultivation

Life Sciences Need Cultivation

August 9, 2010

Sam Latham, President of the Delaware AFL-CIO, wrote the following op-ed published in The News Journal in which he argues that while many of the manufacturing jobs in Delaware have dried up “the life sciences industry could help provide the steady, rewarding work —particularly the high-skilled union jobs — that so many folks in Delaware need.”

Click here to read the full article.

The Promise of Science: Pennsylvania Must Support the Biosciences to Create Cures and Jobs

The Promise of Science: Pennsylvania Must Support the Biosciences to Create Cures and Jobs

June 17, 2010

William George, former President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, wrote the following op-ed promoting policies that support the long-term sustainability of the bioscience industry in Pennsylvania in order to attract investment and creation of high-paying jobs.

Click here to view the article or pdf.

Pharmaceutical Companies Among the Leaders in Keeping Construction Industry Humming

Pharmaceutical Companies Among the Leaders in Keeping Construction Industry Humming

November 17, 2009

America’s Pharmaceutical companies are doing their share to keep the construction industry working as the U.S. emerges from recession. According to Engineering News Record, a McGraw-Hill publication that tracks construction spending, eight pharmaceutical companies have more than $1.3 billion worth of construction projects in the works.

That includes:

  • Johnson & Johnson $3,552 billion
  • Pfizer Inc. $1,804 billion
  • Wyeth $1,403.2 billion
  • Eli Lilly and Co. $1,098.3 billion
  • Schering-Plough $1,008 billion
  • Merck & Co. $871 billion
  • Amgen Inc. $826 billion

By comparison, Johnson & Johnson will spend more than three times the entire top 10 health services firms for construction in progress. Likewise, the top eight pharmaceutical companies in terms of construction are spending almost 40 percent more than the top 10 electronic firms; and 46 percent more than the top 10 communications firms.

California PILMA Delegation Visits Santa Clara Sheet Metal Training Center

California PILMA Delegation Visits Santa Clara Sheet Metal Training Center

Rick Werner (Sheetmetal local 104), Chris Valverde, training coordinator, Donna Kaylor (Pfizer) and Jennifer Fitzgerald (Amgen)

Sheet Metal Workers Local 104’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Santa Clara recently hosted a tour by a delegation of pharmaceutical industry executives and California labor leaders from PILMA.

The tour showcased the training that members of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) undergo to prepare them to master various welding specialties and unique technical skills that are essential in the construction of specialized structures such as cleanrooms, fume hoods and other critical components of modern pharmaceutical production facilities.

Graduates of the SMWIA apprenticeship program master every aspect of the industry, but many gravitate toward the challenging specialties of modern high tech construction.

In partnership with its signatory contractors, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors of North America, SMWIA maintains one of the most rigorous craft training programs in the nation and the Santa Clara Center is one of the most advanced of the union’s 165 training centers.

The Santa Clara center features a 50,000 sq. ft. facility housing 11 classrooms with the latest in computer and audiovisual training aids. The center contains a design lab where students work with the latest computer aided design (CAD) software and building planning technologies.

SMWIA graduates are well versed not only in their craft and skills, but also and the latest developments in energy efficiency concepts, Green/LEED construction and highly efficient systems integrating all construction processes through Building Industry Management (BIM)—ensuring end users the best value for their construction dollar.

Tour participants included Patty Cooper, executive director of the California Biotechnology Foundation, Jennifer Fitzgerald of Amgen, Merrill Jacobs of PhRMA, Donna Kaylor of Pfizer, Travis Miller of Bay-Bio, Bob Balgenorth of the California Building and Construction Trades and Scott Carstairs, of Therma, a SMACNA contractor.

Counterfeit Medicines

What Working Families Need to Know About Counterfeit Medicines

In today’s global environment, it doesn’t matter where you live—U.S., Canada, Kenya or India—everyone is at risk from unsafe drugs. Everyday, millions of unsuspecting patients across the globe are exposed to counterfeit drugs manufactured by criminals that deny them of medical treatment they need.

But there are a number resources consumers can use to help protect the safety of their prescription drugs. Take a moment and learn more about how you can protect the safety of your prescription drugs with the tools below.

Real Dangers of Fake Drugs

Knowledge is power, so empower yourself with information about discovered contraband and counterfeit drugs by using our SafeMeds emails and news archive. See examples of actual counterfeit drugs in Spot the Fake. Learn how to reduce your risk of receiving a counterfeit drug with the S.A.F.E. D.R.U.G. checklist.

How to Buy Medications Online Safely

When it comes to prescription drugs, the Interent can be a prescription for disaster since there are thousands of websites that are anything but legitimate pharmacies. Learn how to find the safest online pharmacies and recognize the warning signs of a rogue online pharmacy with our tipsheet.

Ways to Safely Save Money on Prescription Drugs

Uncover the hidden risks of importing drugs. Discover how to save money while ensuring the safety of your medications. Learn what to do if you need help paying for medicines.

Real Dangers of Fake Drugs

SafeMeds Tools: The Partnership for Safe Medicines ( has several SafeMeds tools to help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening here in the U.S. and other parts of the world regarding drug safety.

Spot the Fake: The counterfeiters selling chalk (or worse) as if they were real drugs are very good. How good? So good that not even the experts can always tell the genuine drugs from the fake ones. See some examples of what actual counterfeit drugs look like.

S.A.F.E. D.R.U.G.: This “how-to” guide helps consumers identify and protect against counterfeit medicines by showing patients how to judge whether their medications are safe and provides tips on what to do if a drug has been compromised.

How to Buy Medications Online Safely

Tips for Safe Online Buying: Learn why simply searching for “lipitor online” is likely to get you a dangerous counterfeit.

Warning Signs: Just because a Web site looks good, doesn’t mean it’s legitimate. This checklist of warning signs can help you spot a rogue online drug seller.

VIPPS: Learn why VIPPS certified online pharmacies are the safest way to buy medicine online.
Easy Ways to Safely Save Money on Prescription Drugs

Importing Danger: Learn why once a drug is outside the strictly regulated U.S. distribution channel, there is no guarantee of its authenticity, effectiveness, or safety.

Safe Savings: If you can’t safely buy drugs from online pharmacies in Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere, how can you safely save money on your prescriptions? We have several helpful tips here.

PPA: Learn how the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps uninsured and financially struggling patients get access to nearly 500 healthcare and prescription assistance programs that offer medicines for free or nearly free.

Health Care Reform for Workers and Working Families

Health Care Reform for Workers and Working Families

Click here to view the full report.

Introduction by Chairman, Michael J. Sullivan General President SMWIA & Vice Chairman, Richard H. Bagger Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc.:

Each day, hundreds of thousands of workers in the United States start their day researching, developing and manufacturing biopharmaceutical products, and building the facilities where those medicines are discovered or produced. The resulting health care innovations are vital to the American people and the nation.The global leader in scientific research, innovation and manufacturing, the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry provides hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs, and contributes more than $200 billion to the gross domestic product.

The unions and companies of the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association recognize that a strong domestic biopharmaceutical industry that provides innovative medicines is vital to the American people and to the nation as a whole. At the same time, the association recognizes the need to address issues of mutual interest and concern to the industry, its workers and all Americans, including: accessibility and affordability of health care; funding of innovative research and future cures; and, maintaining a strong biopharmaceutical industry in the United States. As an association of labor and industry, we recognize fully that not only do our employees research, discover and produce the medicines that enhance and sustain lives, they are also patients.

To that end, the trustees of PILMA tasked a working group to study and discuss thoroughly the issues surrounding health care reform so that they could answer this question: How can we, as a nation, make health care reform work for workers and their families?

What follows is a consensus-driven document that embraces our founding principles. We believe by working together, industry and labor can forge common-sense approaches and provide solutions to some of the biggest problems facing workers who are dealing with their health care and that of their loved ones.

As an organization deeply involved in health care, we wanted to do more than just state the problems — we wanted to come together and suggest solutions. We recognize that, despite achieving our goal of reaching consensus among ourselves, not everyone else will agree with our suggestions. And while we know that our solutions don’t address all of the challenges facing the American health care system, this document represents our best efforts to address key reform issues and join a dialogue about solutions.

With an economy facing challenges of historic proportions, we understand we must work even harder to find real solutions. We believe fully that significant reform of the health care system today is a requirement of economic recovery, not something we can afford to put off until another day. Today’s economic crisis compels us to come together now and help forge health care solutions that expand coverage, improve quality and provide value. By acting now, we can make meaningful change that will benefit America’s workers and their families at the time when they need help most.

We welcome the opportunity to participate in this important dialogue.

Chairman, Michael J. Sullivan
General President Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association

Vice Chairman, Richard H. Bagger
Senior Vice President, Pfizer Inc.