On Friday May 12, a Senate bill containing a provision for FDA-approved Over the Counter Hearing Aids passed from committee to the full Senate, where it is expected to pass.
This is an enormous step towards cheaper, more accessible hearing aids, which should help lower the cost of all hearing aids, even high-end hearing aids, which can now cost up to $6000 each, and which average about $2400 each.
This is an important bill, in my opinion, and in the opinion of other advocates for people with hearing loss, including the Hearing Loss Association of America. For more on this, see my previous post, What Exactly is an Over the Counter Hearing Aid. The comments, especially one from Ben Kaufman, are also informative.
Here’s an article from Modern Healthcare on Friday’s committee vote:
“FDA User-fee Extension Breezes Through Senate Committee.”
The act, which calls for more than $400 million in additional user fees to be collected from the makers of prescription brand drugs, medical devices, generic drugs and “biosimilars” looks to expedite new drug approvals. The committee added amendments aimed at increasing competition. READ MORE