Written by David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Major U.S. retailers will begin selling low-cost hearing aids without a prescription or medical examination under the Biden administration’s final rules that take effect on Monday.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August approved the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids, allowing millions of Americans to purchase hearing aids without seeing a hearing professional and potentially saving individuals thousands of dollars.
The rules apply to hearing aids for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. The aids will be available directly from stores or online without medical tests, a prescription, or modification of the audiologist’s fitting.
The White House announced announcements from major retailers that they will begin offering low-priced hearing aids including from Walgreens and Walmart (NYSE: NYSE:) starting Monday. The White House said CVS will begin selling low-cost hearing aids online on Monday and in some stores in November.
The White House added that Best Buy will begin selling low-priced hearing aids online this week and in stores by the end of October.
The White House National Economic Council Director Brian Dees said in August that the government estimated the law would save consumers about $2,800 per pair of hearing aids and could help “tens of millions of Americans.”
In 2017, Congress passed legislation requiring the US Food and Drug Administration to create a class of over-the-counter hearing aids, but it has not been fully implemented. In June 2021, President Joe Biden signed a broad competition executive order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to “promote the broad availability of low-cost hearing devices.”