Do I Need A Prescription for CPAP?

A prescription is required for CPAP Machines, CPAP Masks, and even CPAP humidifiers. CPAP devices are considered Class II medical devices and require a prescription by law. Even cash customers who order supplies using Internet retailers are required to have a prescription or a physician’s order. Internet retailers are required by the FDA and their State Board of Pharmacy to have a copy of your prescription before sending you equipment.

Why Can’t I Buy without a Prescription? I Used to Be Able to.

The law hasn’t changed, but the widespread enforcement of the law has. At The CPAP People, we do everything we can to ensure the health and well-being of our customers. One way we do that is by complying to the legal requirements of selling our CPAP equipment. This ensures that our customers are getting the care and oversight they need from a doctor who can monitor and assist them in the therapy process.

How to Manage your Prescription for CPAP Therapy

As a CPAP patient, here are some steps you can follow to make your online transaction as seamless as possible.

  • If you have a prescription for CPAP, from any point in time, make a copy of it and archive it.
  • If you have used a local durable medical equipment (DME) provider, ask for your prescription, or a copy. Keep this prescription in your own records.
  • Don't have a copy? Contact your doctor to obtain a new copy.
  • Make sure the Internet retailer you have chosen is legitimate and following all the laws.
  • Check your Sleep Study paperwork. Often, a doctor's order will be present within the sleep study that will suffice for supply orders.
  • Ask your retailer if they can assist you in getting the information needed from your Doctor. Most retailers have a form that can be sent to your doctor's office for verification of therapy needs.
  • After providing your prescription to a reputable retailer, it should be on file indefinitely.
  • View individual prescription policies for information on how prescriptions should be worded and what information should be present on the prescription.
  • Is your original doctor no longer available? Have you moved? Lost contact? Your primary care provider or family physician should be able to help you obtain the supplies you need. Ask your PCP to write a prescription for CPAP supplies. Your PCP may not be able to write a prescription for a new CPAP machine. That may require a new sleep study. But, for masks, your PCP may be able to help.

Buy from a Legitimate Source

Here is a quick list of things to look for to make sure the retailer that you choose is legitimate and following all the rules necessary to sell CPAP equipment.

  • All retailers are required to be certified by their State Board of Pharmacy. You should ask about this certification or it should be on their website. If you have doubts, ask the retailer to send a copy of the certification to you via email or fax.
  • All retailers are required to obtain prescriptions BEFORE shipping CPAP devices to you. If a retailer claims it will follow-up, or asks you to follow-up AFTER purchase, it is not following the law.
  • Legitimate retailers are required by the major manufacturers to have a toll-free phone number that is staffed during normal posted business hours. Answering machines or services do not count.
  • If you have questions about a retailer standing or authorization to dispense a certain manufacturer's products, call the customer service phone number of the manufacturer and verify the retailer.

Other CPAP supplies, such as tubing replacements, CPAP mask parts like cushions and headgear, CPAP comfort items, water chambers, and CPAP machine filters DO NOT require prescriptions. These items are not regulated and can be purchased at will.

How Does Handle Prescriptions?

We make your transaction easy. Here are the steps we follow to ensure you have access to your CPAP supplies:

  • We keep your prescriptions on file forever. This is the first step in ensuring your ease for future purchases. So, you never have to go through the prescription verification process again.
  • Our entire prescription policy is listed on our website.
  • Items that require prescriptions are clearly noted on our website.
  • During the checkout process on our website, you will be prompted for prescription information if an item in your cart requires it. You will be asked how you plan to provide that prescription to us, or if you need help in obtaining it.
    • Prescriptions can be faxed to 866-293-9890.
    • Prescriptions can be emailed to
    • We accept both scanned copies and/or photographs. Even a quick snapshot with your cell phone camera will do.
    • If you need help, you will be asked for your doctor's name and phone number as well as your date of birth. A Physician Order Form will be faxed or emailed to your doctor. We usually receive replies within 24 hours.
  • Your order will not be shipped, nor will your credit card be charged, until we have a prescription.

Thank you for shopping with You can trust our expertise, commitment to excellence, and willingness to help. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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