Health regulators have just unveiled their proposal to be able to allow Americans to purchase hearing aids without the need for prescriptions. This is a long-awaited move that is intended to make the device even more accessible to millions of different people that are experiencing hearing problems.
FDA Proposal on Hearing-Aids
According to the story by NBCNews, the Food and Drug Administration noted that the proposed rule would actually cut red tape that as of the moment requires hearing exams and even a prescription for people that have mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The plan sees that the devices could be ordered online or even bought over-the-counter at certain pharmacies and some other retail stores.
The move currently follows years of pressure coming from medical experts as well as consumer advocates in order to make the devices cheaper as well as easier to get. Over 37 million Americans, 15% of them being adults, are all having trouble hearing, as per the FDA.
Hearing-Aids Could Cost Over $5,000
It was noted, however, that only one-fifth of them can benefit from getting hearing aids and actually use one. The cost remains a huge obstacle. Between the device itself as well as the fitting services, Americans are expected to pay over $5,000 in order to get hearing aid.
Insurance coverage is notably very limited and it was noted that Medicare does not even pay for the hearing aids but just the diagnostic tests. US officials also noted that the FDA change, when it is finalized, should spur out competition and even bring down the prices. An open-source cane is now borrowing autonomous vehicle tech for the visually-impaired and costs $400 to build.
Proposal for 90 Days
Xavier Becerra, the Health and Human Services Secretary, noted to reporters that they are opening the door to a much easier process as well as a more affordable process. The agency is said to take public comments on its proposal for 90 days before it will finalize the brand new rules.
FDA officials reportedly won't speculate on when the said new devices would actually hit the store shelves. Once the particular FDA rules would take effect, traditional manufacturers are then expected to start selling some cheaper, direct-to-consumer models.
Hearing Aid Market
It was noted that eventually, advocates predict that the whole hearing aid market will resemble eye care. This is where consumers will be able to choose between drugstore reading glasses or from prescription bifocals. There are certain iOs and Android apps that are designed for those practicing alternative medicine.
The looser regulations would not actually apply to devices for people that have severe hearing loss or even for children. The agency also noted that over-the-counter devices would still be required to have certain volume limits as well as other measures in order to help prevent certain injuries.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Urian B.