Best Buy to sell over-the-counter hearing aids this fall

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Best Buy says it will be selling an expanded collection of hearing aids this fall, including over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids that were recently approved in a final rule by the Food and Drug Administration.

In addition, the consumer electronics retailer will launch a new online hearing assessment tool and host an in-store hearing aid experience in more than 300 stores. Products available in the experience include Lexie Hearing, Nuheara, Jabra Enhance Plus, Lucid Hearing fio and ENGAGE, Eargo 6, and more.

ticker Safety Last Change Change %
BBY BEST BUY CO. INC. 82.06 -2.92 -3.44%

“Our hearing loss expansion and new shopping experience will make it easy for customers to find hearing loss solutions from brands they trust,” Best Buy category manager Frank Bedo said in a statement. “Our customers come to us for high-quality technical products and expertise, and this fall we will be better able to help them find the right solutions specific to their needs.”

For many years, the company has sold a range of personal sound reinforcement products (PSAPs), self-fitting hearing aids, TV amplifiers, hearing protectors and other accessories.

HEARING AIDS AVAILABLE WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION AFTER FDA RULE

The over-the-counter category established under the FDA’s final rule allows individuals 18 years of age or older with “perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment” to purchase hearing aids without the need for a medical exam, prescription, or adjustment by an audiologist .

According to the FDA, nearly 30 million adults in the US could benefit from using hearing aids. (Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) ((Photo by: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

According to the FDA, nearly 30 million adults in the United States could benefit from using hearing aids.

Consumers could see OTC hearing aids online and in traditional stores and drugstores from mid-October when the rule goes into effect. Hearing aids designed for more severe hearing loss will remain available by prescription only.

BEST BUY REDUCES JOBS TO HELP PROFIT

In 2017, Congress passed legislation requiring the FDA to create a category of OTC hearing aids, but it was not fully implemented. In June 2021, President Joe Biden signed a General Competition Implementation Order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to “promote the wide availability of low-cost hearing aids,” under guidelines targeting a variety of industries.

Brian Deese, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, said the government estimated the rule will save consumers about $2,800 per pair of hearing aids.

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The final draft of the rule came after the agency received and reviewed more than 1,000 public comments from consumers, professional associations, hearing aid manufacturers, public health and advocacy groups, members of Congress, government agencies and other stakeholders.

As a result, the last line includes several changes, including lowering the maximum sound output to reduce the risk of hearing over-amplification and requiring a user-adjustable volume control.

Reuters contributed to this report

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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