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Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Share your experiences with CPAP, request help, find out the latest developments ....

Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Sleepybiker » Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:34 pm

Thanks for the tip Bill. I am still new to this. I have been told very little about the process of setting up the new machine I was given. Perhaps you can help with advice for the future when I go back to the clinic.

The machine I was given was a new Remstar Pro M series model 401 Bipap with a comfort select nasal mask. I don't know the set pressure but it doesn't feel much.

I was lent a variable pressure machine (another Remstar) for two weeks. They said first week there was not enough good data to establish the correct pressure for me apparently due to leaks from the mask. I know I sometimes woke up with lots of air rushing about. Even if I sealed the mask it continued very strongly out of the exhale port without going to a lower pressure. When I switched the machine off and on it restarted slowly it sorted itself out and I was generally not disturbed by the machine.

For that two weeks I did not fall asleep in the afternoon. However, with the new machine I have fallen asleep in the afternoon. I was back at work today and was very sleepy, much as before the therapy. Considering the effort to come to terms with six hours CPAP per night I am disappointed.

I realise that saying it is not working may mess up my driving license and I don't even know what to ask them to look at. What is the thinking about buying a variable pressure machine? It may have had problems for their data, but I was clearly better with the one I used.

Any ideas?




Bill Bolton

Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Bill Bolton » Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:17 am

Hi Martin,

I don't have any direct personal experience with BiPap flow generators, or much even with Respironics kit, so unfortunately I can't help you with any advice on that.




Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Gingerpeter » Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:18 pm

:( At least the NHS provided a machine to you, in South East Hampshire they tease you with a trial and then having dangled a cure they take it back and you have to buy your own. I wrote to my MP Mike Hancock but was, as usual, ignored (not voting for him again). I have now entered into an agreement with Respironics to rent a machine from them; actually despite the cost, they are so professional it seems a good move, costly though if you are not earning well. I understand NICE are due to decide soon on whether or not to "back" the provision of machines by NHS trusts but that just means they won't fund something else. Situation normal those that pay taxes get no benefit from them and end up helping the NHS by not putting stress on it! Personally I am a bit fed up but would rather have a few hours quality sleep each night than keep thirty odd pound a month it costs me because of a post code lottery.


Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Sleepybiker » Sat Mar 08, 2008 8:05 pm


I must start by saying I realise that people get variable treatment across the country, and also responses from different workplaces can be very unhelpful. The more you manage to look okay at work the less easy to explain that you cannot help falling asleep when you are working at home.

My earnings have to cover family of four and am now paying a friend to drive me to work and collect me at the end of the day. The round trip for him means 400 miles a week.

The CPAP lent by the hospital for assessment worked for me. It now seems the one they have set for me is not working. For example I finished work at 1.00 p.m on Friday By 2.00 p.m. after my friend dropped me off I was asleep and only got up at 7.00 p.m. because I was cold, having just flopped on the bed. After forcing myself to stay up to keep my wife company I then slept with the mask from 11.30 p.m. for six hours with some extra hours after that without the mask. Within a couple of hours I was lying on the bed again.

I got an appointment for the 21st April but will ring to see if they can adjust the machine before then. (With the letter it says my pressure was set at 6cms H20, and I am hoping that increasing it may work.) I will continue wearing the mask despite the lack of effect so the smart card can show I did comply.

Meanwhile, I will struggle at work and be asleep at home. Despite fully agreeing that the NHS should supply and set up machines on a fair basis across the country, I wish I had known of somewhere relatively local (Warrington) that I could have gone to to pay to get a machine set up that I wanted.

Again on another topic, the current state means I can not say to the DVLA that my symptoms are treated effectively so "Good Bye license".

Cheers and good luck,



Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by chrono » Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:37 am

I agree the cpap machines are outrageously expensive. When a top of the line laptop computer is less than $1000, there is no way you can tell me this little plastic pump and hose is worth $2000.

I think the bottom line is, the insurance is paying for most of it so people don't think about its price. This is one of the reasons why the US health care system is so bloated.

If people had to pay the entire price for this device, it would only cost about $300 and there would be plenty of profit built in to that price.

As it stands, I my insurance was charged $2000 for my CPAP machine and my co-pay was $279. The co-pay was about what the full price should have been.

Can anybody say... KICKBACKS? or EXPLOITATION? or ABUSE?


Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Guest » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:41 pm

Oh Kudos to you chrono!

You are perhaps one of the few here that seem to understand what xmarmite’s original comments were about. I think the thread went a little off topic for a while with various people assumed that comments posted were personal attacks on themselves, but it all seems to have calmed down a bit.

Put your objective heads on for a moment and you will all see that the CPAP machines are JUST pumps with software and electronics. Without doubt they can be SOLD cheaper, note that I did not say produced cheaper!

Basic economics states that the manufacturers will sell at a price that the market is prepared to pay for their products, not a price with a fair margin of profit after the production costs. The only real purchasers of these products are not the users (you and I) they are the Health Authorities and Insurance companies. These are the buyers that are prepared to pay very much more than what many would think is the true “worth” of these machines.

Oh and to add to xmarmites original comment ... I recently retired from GSK after 15+ years with them. Very little “medical research” goes on in these gleaming offices in Brentford. In case no one has noticed Pharmaceutical / Medical companies are somewhat immune to economic climates.

Have a nice day folks.... and again well done crono!!!


Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Shar008 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:38 am

I am behind you in the pricing fiasco. I live in Australia, I am not overweight, and I currently pay A$140 per month and have done for 14 months ( quick calc $1960 so far). Unfortunately yes with that money I could have bought a machine by now but there is no pay off scheme nor can I get a discount after spending all this money. I can't afford to pay the rental and save that much and live and if I go without the machine I may not wake up one day as I stop breathing 50-60 times a night. The machine I have is not the dearest but to buy outright here is A$1990


Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Guest » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:00 am

Bit late with this post but I thought 'Bill' was being ridiculous and foolish, so here's a link:
(for Xmarmite)

It's a Youtube teardown of a CPAP and the guy repaired his CPAP - however it's still very interesting. The only really difficult part to source is the centrifugal fan/BLDC which costs $70 on Aliexpress and doesn't generate anywhere near the 20hPa (it's overkill).
(https://biomedical-engineering-online.b ... -925X-11-5)

The reason I found his arguments stupid - well.. we live in a society where each one specializes in his task/role for the common good - that's roughly how it should work. So it's perfectly correct for Xmarmite to question what looks to be exploitation by someone not adhering to the rules of the game. If however you decide you don't want a nice society, again Xmarmite would be not wrong.

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Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Sleep2Snore » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:55 pm

They might be expensive for what they were, but it is down to demand and supply at the start.
Take your average TV or DVD recorder, very expensive when they came out until the demand dropped and they became cheaper.
CPAP machines are subject to the same thing, but yes, I agree, the cost is over the top for the older models, but in real terms, the more sophisticated ones you can get these days cost little more than what was a box with a filter, a motor with a centrifugal fan, and a control board.
I have stripped one down and there is not a lot inside them as such. It was an older one, a APAP, but there was not a lot inside it, most of it was foam to keep it quiet, a few bits of silicone tubing, a PCB with a microswitch and a pressure sensor hooked up to a processor.
Hard to justify the price in those days, but no one is going to make these machines if there is no profit.
The newer machines are a bit more complicated as they record what is going on with the patient, but at the end of the day they would not make them if there was no profit in making the machines.

It is the masks that I would like to see them justify the price of. :shock: :?
S2S - Sleep2Snore

Vince Green
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Location: Pinner Middx

Re: Why are CPAP machines so expensive?

Post by Vince Green » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:04 pm

CPAP machines are virtually obsolete, certainly on the way out and will soon be replaced by APAP exclusively. You can buy an APAP now for £500, when I started on this journey a CPAP was £1000. also the machines are a lot smaller and user friendly now

I have noticed also that you don't need a prescription anymore just 'evidence' of a diagnosis. APAPs are self regulating so I suspect the NHS is going to start backing off handing out a lot of this gear very soon and it will become a consumer item

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