(The hill) – The White House on Monday marked the rollout of hearing aids sold at retailers like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart following the Biden administration’s moves to allow them to be sold over the counter.
On Monday, Walgreens began selling hearing aids in stores and online for $799 a pair, CVS began selling them online at various price points, and Walmart began selling them at more than 1,000 vision centers across the United States. retailer stores and 474 Sam’s Club locations, ranging from $199 to $999 a pair.
Also this week, Best Buy will carry nearly 20 different hearing aids online and will have hearing aids in nearly 300 stores by the end of the month for as low as $200. Additionally, Hy-Vee will sell them online and in 34 locations with plans to sell them in 100 locations by the end of the year.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized a rule in August allowing over-the-counter hearing aids to be sold and said they could be available as early as mid-October in retail stores and pharmacies. The rule is part of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order Promoting Competition in the U.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 ruled. The rule allows people with mild to moderate hearing loss to buy over-the-counter hearing aids without the need for a medical exam, prescription or fitting.
The FDA estimates the rule could reduce average costs by up to $3,000 per pair of hearing aids, which could impact nearly 30 million hearing-impaired Americans, including nearly 10 million fewer adults. 60 years old.