Arizona Join Coalition To Preserve State Regulation Of Over-The-Counter Hearing Aids

hearing aide
[Photo courtesy Mass.gov]

Arizona has joined a bipartisan coalition of 42 states and territories urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to preserve state authority to enforce their consumer protection laws in connection to the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids.

The FDA is currently considering a proposal that would establish for the first time a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids that would allow such devices to be sold directly to consumers without a medical exam or fitting by an audiologist.

Currently, all 50 states have hearing professional licensing requirements, and many have important protections for hearing aid consumers, including mandatory warranties and returns and advertising restrictions. The attorneys general caution that rules currently under review by the FDA may unintentionally hinder or repeal those important consumer protection authorities, undermining states’ abilities to ensure safe and affordable access to hearing aids.  The attorneys general urge the FDA to make explicit that their federal rule will not preempt these critical state consumer protections.

The attorneys general further urge the FDA to strengthen age verification processes to protect children under 18 and make it clear that over-the-counter hearing aids are only appropriate for those with mild to moderate hearing loss.

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