The medical advisory board of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) has issued a position statement on non-prescription supplemental oxygen, advising the patient community to use only FDA-approved oxygen delivery devices as prescribed by their doctor. 

The statement says individuals should not purchase an oxygen supply device without a prescription from a healthcare provider because doing so may lead to serious health problems. In addition, non-FDA-approved oxygen delivery systems may not reliably deliver oxygen.

Supplemental oxygen therapy is necessary and beneficial to many people living with PF. Oxygen users often prefer portable oxygen concentrators (POC) so they can remain active and mobile. Unfortunately, existing POCs have limitations such as short battery life and inadequate oxygen flow,” says Amy Hajari Case, MD, senior medical advisor for education and awareness for the PFF, in a release. “However, non-FDA-approved portable oxygen concentrators available online are not the solution. Patients should always speak with their healthcare provider before any out-of-pocket purchase of a portable oxygen concentrator.”

The PFF’s medical advisory board is committed to helping patients who rely on supplemental oxygen. In February, the PFF joined with 23 other patient, professional, and industry groups to advocate for patient-centric legislative changes to supplemental oxygen supply and reimbursement. The PFF’s efforts to advocate for improvements in access to oxygen are ongoing.

More than 250,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease, progressive diseases that cause inflammation, scarring, or both that damage the lung’s capacity to transfer vital oxygen from the air into the blood. Over 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. There is no known cure, but many clinical trials are underway.

Photo caption: The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has issued a position statement on non-prescription supplemental oxygen. Patients living with pulmonary fibrosis should have a prescription for oxygen from their healthcare provider and should only use FDA-approved oxygen delivery devices.

Photo credit: Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation