Hearing aids of the different colors isolated on white background. Deaf ear aid. 3d illustration Credit: istockphoto.com

In a win for the nearly 45 million Americans who need hearing aids, the devices may be purchased over the counter starting in October.

Hearing aids have long been regulated as prescription medical devices, which makes them more expensive and requires an appointment with a physician and a prescription.

In 2017, Congress passed a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to allow for retail sales of the devices for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. The law creates a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids.

But it was President Joe Biden who issued an executive order last year to increase competition in key industries and lower costs, which he said will mean better access for more Americans.

“This action makes good on my commitment to lower costs for American families, delivering nearly $3,000 in savings to American families for a pair of hearing aids and giving people more choices to improve their health and well-being,” the president said in a statement.

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