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On the Way to Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids, Says CTA

Arlington, VA – June 7, 2017 – 

The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), regarding the House Energy and Commerce Committee today approving the Food Drug Administration (FDA) user fee legislation with over-the-counter hearing aid provision:

"We applaud Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) for shepherding the over-the-counter provision in the broader FDA user fee legislation. We are pleased that the provisions of the Over the Counter Hearing Aid Act are included in both the House and Senate versions of the FDA user fee legislation.  Getting over the counter hearing aids on the same shelf as over-the-counter eyeglasses would be a major win for consumers with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The high cost of hearing aids, the inconvenience and the cost of doctor appointments means nearly half of online U.S. adults – 98 million Americans – have some degree of hearing loss and don't get the hearing assistance they need.  We urge expeditious consideration of these bills on the House and Senate floor.

“While both hearing aids and non-prescription devices can improve hearing, a pair of hearing aids can range in price from $1,000 to $6,000. Non-prescription devices such as PSAPs are one-tenth that cost, ranging from $100 to $600. According to the CTA's Personal Sound Amplification Products: A Study of Consumer Attitudes and Behavior study, price is a significant barrier to seeking help for a hearing deficiency.

“The over-the-counter provision will change lives for the better by directing the FDA to create a new regulatory class of hearing aids that could be sold over the counter. This new regulatory class will address the needs of adults with mild to moderate hearing loss, a population that desperately warrants attention.”