More Affordable Hearing Aids Could Be in Stores as Soon as Mid-October
The FDA issued a final rule to improve access to hearing aids which may in turn lower costs for millions of Americans. This action establishes a new category of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids, enabling consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist.
The rule is expected to lower the cost of hearings aids, for the American public. It is designed to assure the safety and effectiveness of OTC hearing aids, while fostering innovation and competition in the hearing aid technology marketplace. Many hearing aids can be expensive. Consumers could see OTC hearing aids available in traditional retail and drug stores as soon as mid-October when the rule takes effect.
Close to 30 million adults in the U.S. could benefit from hearing aid use. Individuals with permanent hearing impairment can use hearing aids to help make speech and sounds louder, improving the ability to communicate effectively with others. Establishing this new regulatory category will allow people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss to have convenient access to an array of safe, effective and affordable hearing aids from their neighborhood store or online.
Concurrently with issuing the final rule, the FDA also issued the final guidance, Regulatory Requirements for Hearing Aid Devices and Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), to clarify the differences between hearing aids, which are medical devices, and PSAPs, consumer products that help people with normal hearing amplify sounds.
Source: Article courtesy of FDA.gov; Image courtesy of Freepik/Iakov Filimonov Free Lic CCOO