CPAP pricing fluctuates

Sunday, November 26, 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The price of ResMed's CPAP devices jumped an average of 49% last month due to the company's decision to implement minimum Internet retail prices, according to research released last week by Wachovia. ResMed implemented minimum pricing to reduce the difference between what brick-and-mortar and Internet providers charge for the devices.

"According to our sources, ResMed's Internet sales have declined as a result of these price increases, though this channel likely accounts for a very small portion of the company's overall sales," the research stated. "We view October's price increases as a one-time event and not representative of changes at the wholesale level."

For the entire market, prices for CPAP devices were down by 0.2% last month after being down 0.6% in September. Among the different product categories, bi-level CPAP devices have seen the largest year-to-date price decline (8.1% or 9.7% annualized), while masks have seen the smallest year-to-date decline (4.8% or 5.7% annualized).

Standard and auto CPAP devices were down 8% and 6.8%, respectively, in October.

Among the different manufacturers, Fisher & Paykel's CPAP devices saw the largest price decline last month--1.2% due to a 9.8% sequential decline in the price of its HC604 flow generator. Respironics' and Puritan Bennett's prices were stable, with declines of 0.1% and 0%, respectively.