The White House marks the nationwide launch of over-the-counter hearing aids at retailers

(The Hill) – The White House on Monday marked the launch of hearing aids sold at retailers including Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, after the Biden administration took steps to allow over-the-counter sales.

On Monday, Walgreens began selling hearing aids in stores and online for $799 a pair, CVS began selling them online at a variety of prices, and Walmart began selling them in more than 1,000 vision centers in the retailer’s stores and 474 Sam’s Club locations from $199 to $999 per pair.

Also this week, Best Buy will offer nearly 20 different hearing aids online, and by the end of the month will have hearing aids in nearly 300 stores for just $200. Additionally, Hy-Vee will sell them online and in 34 locations and plans to sell them in 100 locations by the end of the year.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed a rule allowing the sale of hearing aids over the counter in August, saying they could be available in retail and drug stores as early as mid-October. The rule is part of President Joe Biden’s executive order on promoting competition in America’s economy, which he issued in July 2021.

Congress passed over-the-counter hearing aid legislation in 2017, but it wasn’t fully implemented until the FDA rule. The rule allows people with mild to moderate hearing loss to buy hearing aids without a doctor’s exam, prescription, or fitting.

The FDA estimates the rule could reduce the average cost by up to $3,000 per pair of hearing aids, which could affect nearly 30 million Americans with hearing loss, including nearly 10 million adults under the age of 60. The White House marks the nationwide launch of over-the-counter hearing aids at retailers

Dais Johnston

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