Over-the-counter hearing aids at Walgreens, Walmart by mid-October

Some of the nation's biggest pharmacy retailers said they will stock over-the-counter hearing aids on shelves by mid-October. 

In an Oct. 6 news release, Walgreens said it would sell Lexie Lumen hearing aids for $799, or $39 per month for two years, starting Oct. 17. 

"We believe hearing health should be available to all people, not only those who can afford it," Nic Klopper, CEO and founder of Lexie Hearing, said in the release. "That's why we're excited to work with Walgreens to make affordable, audiologist-quality hearing aids more accessible to communities across the country."

A Walmart spokesperson told Becker's Walmart will also begin selling multiple over-the-counter products Oct. 17, with prices starting at $199. 

The promise of over-the-counter hearing aids began in 2017 after the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act was passed, but President Joe Biden ensured the law's implementation with an Aug. 16 executive order. The order gave HHS 120 days to comply, placing the deadline around mid-October. 

In less than two weeks, people will be able to purchase products for mild to moderate hearing loss "without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist," according to the FDA.

Of the 38 million people in the U.S. who have self-reported auditory difficulties, only about 20 percent of them use hearing aids, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Among adults who are 70 and older, that figure is slightly higher at 31.8 percent.

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