Listen to this article here
The White House announced Tuesday that the FDA has approved over-the-counter hearing aids for millions of Americans.
They will be available for adults with mild to moderate hearing problems, and will not require a prescription or any other specialty evaluations. Instead, they will be available over-the-counter at pharmacies and stores across the country.
The Biden Administration announced the new rule in a release Tuesday morning.
“For millions of Americans, hearing aids and the doctor’s visit to get them prescribed are too expensive. In the executive order I issued last year to increase competition in key industries and lower costs, I called on the FDA to finally make hearing aids available over-the-counter,” the release stated.
President Biden claims that the new rule will lower the cost of a pair of hearing aids by nearly $3,000.
Hearing aids to be more available at lower cost to millions
According to the National Council on Aging, roughly 44.1 million Americans 20 years old and older experience some level of hearing loss.
In 2017, Congress passed bipartisan legislation requiring the FDA to create an over-the-counter category for the products, but it was not fully implemented until now.
“Reducing health care costs in America has been a priority of mine since Day One and this rule is expected to help us achieve quality, affordable health care access for millions of Americans in need,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Vice President Kamala Harris said “every American has a right to receive affordable healthcare. Today our administration has taken another step forward in our fight to protect that right.”
Consumers could see over-the-counter hearing aids available in traditional retail and drug stores as soon as mid-October when the rule takes effect.