ADA Supports S.670/H.R. 1652, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017

The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) supports S. 670/H.R. 1652, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017, and commends Senators Warren and Grassley, and Representatives Blackburn and Kennedy for their foresight in introducing this legislation, which if enacted, will remove unnecessary and burdensome barriers to hearing care for millions of Americans.

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 would allow hearing aids, intended to be used by adults to compensate for mild to moderate hearing impairment, to be sold over the counter (OTC), and would eliminate the requirement that adult consumers obtain a medical evaluation or sign a waiver in order to acquire these hearing aids. This landmark legislation also directs the FDA to issue regulations containing safety and labeling requirements for this new category of OTC hearing aids and to update FDA draft guidance on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs).

The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act is consistent with ADA’s longstanding position to implement recommendations from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), which have both recommended making some types of hearing aids available over the counter and removing the requirement of a medical evaluation in order to allow millions more Americans to access hearing aids.

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