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CPAP costs in Australia
#1
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The following is a good old fashioned Aussie rant .

I would urge anyone living in Australia who has concerns regarding the cost of CPAP equipment, or the level of service of from suppliers to lodge a complaint with the ACCC.  It is not a difficult process and can be done on the ACCC website. The more people who lodge the easier it will be for the ACCC to investigate. As an example the hearing aid industry has just been put on notice to clean themselves up or face sanctions. It is high time the CPAP industry was looked into, as it is a growing sector and for some it is a license to print money at our expense. I have read numerous posts from aggrieved users on this forum, so lets speak loudly as one voice.

Jeez, I feel better for getting that out. 

Thanks

James
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#2
I agree, costs here in Australia are prohibitively expensive and unreasonably so. However, OSA is not the same sort of industry as hearing impairment. You can get insurance cover for hearing impairment but OSA misses the boat for the majority of Australian policies.

After I was diagnosed I hired a machine for 6 months to make sure I could tolerate the therapy. Once I knew that I could I used a brain and ordered a similar machine from the US. When I returned the machine I was quizzed about my future treatment. I was both blunt and honest and said I'd got a machine from the US. I was admonished to 'buy Australian'. My reply was that my health overrode any national interests and 60% saving just couldn't be passed up. Quite simply, I voted with my feet. The exit form I filled out supported that stance

While I am happy to lobby Canberra I am also skeptical about what a toothless dragon like the ACCC can do. As a fellow Aussie I'm sure you will understand why I have little confidence in the ACCC. Voting with your feet and purchasing elsewhere is the strongest message you can send the suppliers of XPAP equipment here in Australia.
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#3
(03-03-2017, 05:08 AM)holden4th Wrote: I agree, costs here in Australia are prohibitively expensive and unreasonably so. However, OSA is not the same sort of industry as hearing impairment. You can get insurance cover for hearing impairment but OSA misses the boat for the majority of Australian policies.

After I was diagnosed I hired a machine for 6 months to make sure I could tolerate the therapy. Once I knew that I could I used a brain and ordered a similar machine from the US. When I returned the machine I was quizzed about my future treatment. I was both blunt and honest and said I'd got a machine from the US. I was admonished to 'buy Australian'. My reply was that my health overrode any national interests and 60% saving just couldn't be passed up. Quite simply, I voted with my feet. The exit form I filled out supported that stance

While I am happy to lobby Canberra I am also skeptical about what a toothless dragon like the ACCC can do. As a fellow Aussie I'm sure you will understand why I have little confidence in the ACCC. Voting with your feet and purchasing elsewhere is the strongest message you can send the suppliers of XPAP equipment here in Australia.

How do you get on with warranty claims purchasing from the USA? I bought local, with a five year warranty and I am glad I did. Not too happy about the price I paid, but for the warranty it has been worth it. I reckon the sleep apnoea industry is in need of closer regulation. I see CPAP machines for sale in suburban chemists now. What is that about? The TGA is another place to protest to, and as many fed up people need to do that as well. If no one speaks up the rip off will continue unabated.

James
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#4
Warranty is still available for overseas purchased machines, you just post it back if required, I've done it once and as soon as I emailed the receipt for postage to the company they sent a new machine so I was only without it for  a few days.
But as I bought two machines I had the other one in our camper so just used it.
Both machines including three hose/mask setups between them cost just over half what the retailers here wanted for one machine and mask so I can easily afford to buy two more machines to equal the Aussie prices.
There are also now available some Chinese machines which appear to be ok and they are much cheaper locally. I've also noticed that local prices for big name machines have dropped slightly as a result of the cheaper machines and increasing online sales from overseas.
With an auto machine and Sleepyhead you can pretty much control your own treatment these days. My annual sleep centre appointment always causes them some grief as I don't take my machine in for them to fiddle with but give them the SD card so they can read my results. Nevermind that my questions often go unanswered as they are not used to so well informed patients!
I have a vague memory reading somewhere that Resmed actually has an exemption with the ACCC due to previous run ins with them over price fixing, but that sort of thing doesn't happen does it!
Never ceases to amaze me that an Australian company can sell its goods cheaper on the other side of the world than it can here in Oz, especially when the manufacturing base is either here or closer to here than there!
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#5
(03-03-2017, 04:14 PM)Shorty Wrote: With an auto machine and Sleepyhead you can pretty much control your own treatment these days. My annual sleep centre appointment always causes them some grief as I don't take my machine in for them to fiddle with but give them the SD card so they can read my results. Nevermind that my questions often go unanswered as they are not used to so well informed patients!
I have a vague memory reading somewhere that Resmed actually has an exemption with the ACCC due to previous run ins with them over price fixing, but that sort of thing doesn't happen does it!
Never ceases to amaze me that an Australian company can sell its goods cheaper on the other side of the world than it can here in Oz, especially when the manufacturing base is either here or closer to here than there!

Where did you get your sleep study done? Mine was with SNORE Australia and I've never been asked to go back to see how things are working out?

Last year I dropped into a CPAP store here on the Gold Coast to look at possible pillows I could lay my head on. While there I got chatting with someone else who was waiting and the conversation turned to this forum and the ability to control your own settings. The receptionist overheard and came out to tell me that I was encouraging this person to break the law. I couldn't help it, I just laughed out loud then told the person I was talking to that CPAPers are perfectly entitled to change their prescribed settings and it's legal. The ones who weren't allowed to do it without a prescription were the people in this store. I wonder if she ever visited the site or just continued to throw away good money.
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#6
Quote:I have a vague memory reading somewhere that Resmed actually has an exemption with the ACCC due to previous run ins with them over price fixing, but that sort of thing doesn't happen does it!

Resmed got pinged by the ACCC back in 2010 over retail price maintenance and had to swear on a stack of bibles they would never do it again.

They also have a registered distribution agreement which allows them to supply machines and accessories only to "accredited partners" under certain conditions. eg the partner must have a physical address, adequate (but undefined) training and clinical competence etc. They got this distribution agreement approved by the ACCC on the grounds that their devices treat a medical condition which requires pre- and post-sale evaluation and support. It wouldn't surprise me if the other manufacturers had similar registered agreements.

I believe there is a huge conflict of interest in this industry, same as the hearing aid industry. Doctors are too close to clinics and clinics which are resellers. Now, as somebody pointed out recently, it appears that Resmed and CPAP Australia (Supplier #13) are far too close - they share the same head office address at 1 Elizabeth Macarthur Drive. This was one of the criticisms levelled at the hearing industry - non-disclosure of the fact that the clinics / resellers are in fact owned by hearing aid manufacturers.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#7
(03-03-2017, 08:25 PM)DeepBreathing Wrote:
Quote:I have a vague memory reading somewhere that Resmed actually has an exemption with the ACCC due to previous run ins with them over price fixing, but that sort of thing doesn't happen does it!

Resmed got pinged by the ACCC back in 2010 over retail price maintenance and had to swear on a stack of bibles they would never do it again.  

They also have a registered distribution agreement which allows them to supply machines and accessories only to "accredited partners" under certain conditions. eg the partner must have a physical address, adequate (but undefined) training and clinical competence etc. They got this distribution agreement approved by the ACCC on the grounds that their devices treat a medical condition which requires pre- and post-sale evaluation and support. It wouldn't surprise me if the other manufacturers had similar registered agreements.

I believe there is a huge conflict of interest in this industry, same as the hearing aid industry. Doctors are too close to clinics and clinics which are resellers. Now, as somebody pointed out recently, it appears that Resmed and CPAP Australia (Supplier #13) are far too close - they share the same head office address at 1 Elizabeth Macarthur Drive. This was one of the criticisms levelled at the hearing industry - non-disclosure of the fact that the clinics / resellers are in fact owned by hearing aid manufacturers.

Resmed own CPAP Australia, a reseller of Resmed equipment, and have openly said so to me during conversations I have had with the Customer Service Managers. I will not make too much more of a comment than that. Thinking-about

James
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#8
Quote:Resmed own CPAP Australia, a reseller of Resmed equipment, and have openly said so to me during conversations I have had with the Customer Service Managers. I will not make too much more of a comment than that.

They don't hide the fact but they don't go out of their way to announce it either.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#9
(03-03-2017, 05:08 AM)holden4th Wrote: I agree, costs here in Australia are prohibitively expensive and unreasonably so. However, OSA is not the same sort of industry as hearing impairment. You can get insurance cover for hearing impairment but OSA misses the boat for the majority of Australian policies.

After I was diagnosed I hired a machine for 6 months to make sure I could tolerate the therapy. Once I knew that I could I used a brain and ordered a similar machine from the US. When I returned the machine I was quizzed about my future treatment. I was both blunt and honest and said I'd got a machine from the US. I was admonished to 'buy Australian'. My reply was that my health overrode any national interests and 60% saving just couldn't be passed up. Quite simply, I voted with my feet. The exit form I filled out supported that stance

Well done.
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#10
Harking back to the original post, the ACCC page to lodge a consumer report is here: https://www.accc.gov.au/contact-us/conta...umer-issue
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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