ResMed markets VPAP in earnest

Saturday, September 30, 2006

SAN DIEGO - Earlier this year, ResMed became the only company in the United States to garner Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a product designed specifically to treat central sleep apnea and periodic breathing. Now, after a slow and quiet roll out with a small group of customers, ResMed has begun to market the VPAP Adapt SV in earnest, beginning last month at Medtrade.
For HME providers, this is big news, said Mick Farrell, ResMed's vice president of marketing. He noted that an estimated 15% of patients being treated for obstructive sleep apnea actually suffer from central sleep apnea. An even bigger business opportunity resides in the 80% of people (an estimated 40 million) with sleep disordered breathing who are not being treated, he said.
"We wanted to introduce it to key physicians at the Mayo Clinic, Stanford and Cleveland Clinic and slowly work our way through the market," Farrell said. "What we are finding is that because of the demand from sleep physicians, we are being driven to bring this product to market quicker."
Until now, doctors have treated patients with central sleep apnea, usually unsatisfactorily, with bilevel devices, which are intended, primarily, for non-compliant OSA patients and for people suffering from ALS and other neurological disorders, he said.
Providers who offer this product to sleep physicians stand to gain business, Farrell said. ResMed officials have accompanied HMEs to explain and demonstrate the VPAP Adapt SV to physicians, and the response, he said, has been: "Wow."
"We now have a product that, if you put it on the complex sleep apnea patient, it is able to treat all the events--the obstructive event and the central event," Farrell said.