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[split] Mask Supply Issues
#1
[split] Mask Supply Issues
News from CPAP Reviews

Philips has stopped supplying CPAP masks for the next 3+ months.
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#2
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
bteger, we are aware of the brief video by Nick that this is based on. Nick indicates that this is a suspension of masks and parts due to a supply chain shortage of silicone used to make the masks, and that the suspension will be from April 1 to July 1. No online documentation exists from Philips, however there is considerable evidence of a supply chain problem in the silicone rubber markets
https://www.stockwell.com/blog/silicone-...rter-2021/
https://www.sspinc.com/silicones_that_wo...Explained/
https://markets.businessinsider.com/news...38724?op=1

Based on market conditions, it is nearly a certainty that medical silicone mask parts and machine seals will be increasing in price significantly, and it is probably safe to say this will cause shortages to companies that rely on these raw materials, such as Philips and Resmed. This does not suggest that Philips or Resmed are seeking to leave this business segment, but it is certain that they are facing challenges in meeting current and foreseeable demand. It would be prudent for consumers to stock up on disposable parts like mask cushions and humidifier chambers to avoid inevitable price increases and supply shortages. The evidence points to possible long-term shortages in these materials and it is reasonable to expect that we will have to get more use out of the products we have in hand, and that new supplies may be intermittently unavailable or more expensive to obtain.

As you point out, a shortage specific to any manufacturer such as Philips is but a rumor at this time. Philips demand for silicone is particularly high due to the recall which requires large quantities of silicone to manufacture machine parts, seals and motor housing components. Since the recall is mandated, this may mean the manufacture of machine components is displacing availability to manufacture mask parts. That's my interpretation of things, and I have no "inside" information. Let's speculate a bit. Considering how insurance and Medicare contract for mask prices, the "real reason" to suspend sales may be to let those contracts sunset in July, and avoid losses due to higher materials cost between now and then.
Sleeprider
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#3
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
(04-04-2022, 01:32 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: Let's speculate a bit.  Considering how insurance and Medicare contract for  mask prices, the "real reason" to suspend sales may be to let those contracts sunset in July, and avoid losses due to higher materials cost between now and then.

I think you just gave a very plausible and logical explanation of why those products may become scarce until later this fall.
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#4
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
I saw Nicks video last night, great, another supply issue. I usually get 3 months out of my Wisp cushions so I went ahead and ordered 3 more through Amazon. That gives me 5 fresh ones plus the one I'm using now has 2 more months on it. I wanted to get these before the inevitable shortage and price increase that will be created by Philips. My provider is the VA so I'm hoping they can give me a fresh one in 2 months although the last shipment was delayed due to supply issues. It appears the VA is also feeling the pinch. I love this thread, a lot of good information here.
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#5
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
My DME contacts me every three months and says it is time for replacement stuff - masks, filters, hoses, tanks. If I try to say no, they get on my case and ask how come I don't need it and that I should be following manufacturer's use recommendations (even though everything is still good). I have found it easier to just say, okay, send me the stuff than to argue with them. My insurance covers all of it 100%. The only thing I have been able to turn off is the hose. I do have a spare for each of us (plus plenty unheated ones). So, if the manufacturers shut down for a while, we are good.
Homer

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Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#6
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
(04-01-2022, 10:18 PM)WakeUpTime Wrote: Read this posted at an online DME site...

33k/mo, 8k+/week. is more than I expected under the current supply issues. 

Anyone have old figures to compare to?
Maybe 2018/19 numbers?
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#7
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
(04-04-2022, 01:32 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: It would be prudent for consumers to stock up on disposable parts like mask cushions and humidifier chambers to avoid inevitable price increases and supply shortages.


Great way to cause a shortage. Suddenly increase demand 3-4 fold with people stocking up in case. Poof, a shortage. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

See it around here everytime there's bad weather in the forecast. Travel/restocking might be impacted so people flood the stores ands pick the shelves clean.  And full, up every vehicle and gas can they can find.

Then those that didn't panic buy are screwed.
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#8
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
(04-05-2022, 01:18 PM)ST Dog Wrote: Then those that didn't panic buy are screwed.


Solution:  Panic early-- beat the rush.   Bigwink  Too-funny

But seriously, we need to be careful about blaming others who took action to stock up during times of plenty.  We saw this same attitude early-on in the pandemic, during the "toilet paper shortage".  Others, realizing the potential pitfalls of a just-in-time inventory strategy, made sure their supply of needed products was laid in early-on, during times of plenty, while others critiqued those who had more than 8 rolls of toilet paper on hand as "hoarders".

Those who refused to prepare during good times should not blame those who did prepare.

There is a  difference between "stocking up" and "hoarding"...

Stocking up is when there's an ample supply and you purchase extras for yourself for your future use slowly, over time, before supply issues develop.  You essentially become "your own warehouse" for the products you need.  This is perfectly acceptable behavior.

Hoarding is when the supply is already extremely limited and you quickly purchase more than you could ever reasonably need yourself in order to profit from supply chain issues.

But nonetheless,  those who refused to prepare will continue to blame those who do prepare - it's human nature to blame anyone except ourselves for our troubles, especially when we were lazy in that we didn't work to stock up during times of plenty.  Those people are left with only two choices-- either do without, or contribute to what you've called "panic buying".  Those who prepared in advance don't have to deal with those two poor choices-- they're already prepared and will not have to contribute to the "panic buying" because they already have what they need.  And they did so during a time of plenty, so that their purchases didn't negatively affect anyone else at all.


Coffee
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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
Silicone cost price increases
Companies are taking advantage of supply chain and inflation issues, knowing that the general public has become very accepting to price hikes and extremely fearful of shortages. 

Dollar stores are filled with silicone-based kitchen products (thick drain mats, etc.) that sell for a buck or two.  The amount of silicone in masks, machines, etc., is miniscule compared to many thick heavy silicone products.  

The idea that 1 oz of silicone will increase the manufacturing cost of a CPAP mask by 7 cents (e.g.) doesn't translate to shortages and $20 price hikes.  If Philips is throwing out statements that it does, people should remember that Philips doesn't always tell the full story; nor does it always tell the entire truth of all extenuating factors for its decisions.

It's a self fulfilling prophecy, sending people to stock up, purchase more than they need, and be willing to pay anything to get the product now and for many months to come.  I'm amazed how long supplies can last with daily gentle cleaning.  Insurance companies and manufacturer's suggested replacement dates are adding to the supply chain challenges.  Of course, everyone should be prudent too and not be caught short on supplies for such a necessary medical life-altering device.  I've no doubt that there will be some that purchase a 2-3 year supply (at regular prices) out of fear of loss or future price increases.

This past year, I've seen several distributors provide clearout prices on several Philips masks and mask accessories.  Go through some of the expired threads in popular deals sites for examples.  There were some buying select Philips masks and Philips replacement cushions at 50-80% off.  

If Philips significantly reduces supply, or increases prices, its marketshare will further decline and other suppliers will step in.  Good riddance to a company that has been filled with quality-issues, marketplace controls, and consumer deception - and perhaps much more.
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#10
RE: RECALL THREAD-- IMPORTANT PHILIPS DREAMSTATION & SYSTEM ONE USERS
(04-05-2022, 02:29 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: Those who prepared in advance don't have to deal with those two poor choices-- they're already prepared and will not have to contribute to the "panic buying" because they already have what they need.  And they did so during a time of plenty, so that their purchases didn't negatively affect anyone else at all.


Take the example in this thread.  Mask cushion lasts 3 months (though that seems short to me). Current one has 2 months left. So let's buy 4 or 5, a years worth now. Oh and get another in a month or two.

That's that's sudden demand I was speaking of.

I agree, have a spare, they can break/tear. Even 2, spare plus next replacement.  But 5 or 6?

Suddenly 5 or 6 are bought vs 1. Now the 6 months of stock is all sold in 1.


So sure buy an extra. But not half a dozen.


I get over a year from a cushion, and the last one I replaced was still working. Not as good as new but easily another 6 mo.  And I have other masks I can use. They worked. Not as well as the current mask, but well enough. So I don't need to buy 5 years worth of cushions now on the chance supplies might be low for a few months. 


The panic buying I was speaking of is perishable items. Stuff you can't "stock up on" in good times and yes gasoline is perishable (degrades over a fairly short time).

Gas stations have supply for 1-3 days of normal sales. Suddenly they sell, that in 2 or 3 hours. Then out for days fueling more panic buying. It wasn't bought due to need or even anticipated need. Itbwas just to have as much as possible in case ID shortage. Then they feel justified when stations are out for a few days. Nevermind that they didn't use half of what they normally would in that time and still have 3x that unused).

Same for milk and bread. Normally buy a gallon of milk each week, so panic and buy 4? Use 2 loaves of bread a week, so buy 6 and 6 packs of burger buns and 6 packs of hot dog buns. Most of the panic purchases go bad before they get used.

As for TP. I had bought my normal amount ( a 24 roll pack because it's cheaper) a few weeks before, and that lasted just as long as normal. And supply. Issues were resolved.

It was the people buying 2 years worth because of a rumor that caused the shortage. If they had been reasonable (or even double normal) there never would have been shortage.
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