Increased Access Granted: OTC Hearing Aids

FDA approves new rule providing access to otc hearing aids

(RxWiki News) The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issues a final rule which will improve access to over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids.

This new rule can potential improve access to millions of Americans. It is estimated that close to 30 million adults in the US may benefit from hearing aids. 

Typically, hearing aids can be very costly. This new rule can help lower the cost of hearings aids by stimulating competition. Overall, one can expect them to be less expensive than the current options.

And we can expect these more affordable hearing aids to be available as soon as mid-October. 

What does this new rule mean?

This new ruling puts over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids into a new category. 

Now, those with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment can buy hearing aids without a medical exam, prescription or a fitting done by an audiologist (hearing doctor).

You can now buy hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers.

It is important to note, this rule only applies to those 18 years and older who have perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment. 

For those who are younger than 18 and who have severe hearing impairment, they will need a prescription for hearing aids.

“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 in a press release. “Today’s action by the FDA represents a significant milestone in making hearing aids more cost-effective and accessible,” he continued. 

Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions.