Skip to Content

‘It’s a perfect storm’: Manufacturers prioritize, allocate orders for CPAP devices

‘It’s a perfect storm’: Manufacturers prioritize, allocate orders for CPAP devices

YARMOUTH, Maine – Manufacturers like ResMed and 3B Medical are ramping up production to meet increased demand due to a voluntary recall of millions of Philips CPAP devices, but their efforts are complicated by supply chain and other challenges. 

“Yes, we’re ramping up production as quickly as possible, while working closely with our global supplier network to navigate the well-known global supply chain challenges impacting this and other industries,” said Jayme Rubenstein, a ResMed spokesperson.  

Following the announcement of the recall on June 14, ResMed told customers to place all orders for CPAP and APAP devices for the month by June 18. The company expects to start taking new orders on, or soon after, July 1. 

Due to supply chain challenges, ResMed says it is prioritizing orders with “highest-acuity needs,” Rubenstein says. 

“Our top priority is patients’ safety and wellbeing,” he said. 

3B Medical says it is working with its factory to guarantee a higher number of CPAP devices – “a large multiplier over what we’re currently getting from them,” says Katherine Royster, vice president of sales and marketing. 

“We are surging manufacturing and relying on air freight for the next two months to raise stocking levels to meet demand,” she said. 

Following the announcement of the recall, 3B also paused sales and implemented a “priority allocation” program, whereby the company is negotiating strategic agreements with customers to “protect the availability of CPAP devices” based on their historical purchasing levels, Royster says.  

“We’re really looking at identifying strategic partners who are looking at a relationship with us for the long-term,” she said. “The day the recall happened, we got thousands of orders from brokers and third parties. We put everything on hold so we could investigate every account. We didn’t want anyone buying everything and flipping it at a profit.” 

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare says it has seen an increase in demand for its CPAP devices, but due to supply chain challenges, “we are currently unable to increase production rates significantly,” says Subbarao Potharaju, director of marketing for homecare. 

“We appreciate this is a difficult situation for our customers and will update our field sales teams if the position improves,” he said.  

In many ways, the timing of the Philips recall couldn’t be worse. Combine supply chain challenges with the pent-up demand for CPAP therapy from the COVID-19 pandemic, and all manufacturers are strained. 

“It’s a perfect storm,” Royster said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about taking care of the patients and the industry as a whole, as we navigate through this.”


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.