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Hearing aids are now available over-the-counter at Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and Best Buy

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Millions of Americans with hearing loss can now buy hearing aids without a prescription or medical exam from Walgreens, SVC and best buy depending on the companies.

Walgreens on Monday began selling over-the-counter hearing aids online and in its stores nationwide for $799 a pair. In comparison, the average cost of prescription hearing aids can range between $2,000 and $8,000, depending on the company.

CVS sells over-the-counter devices on its website with prices ranging from $199 to $999. The pharmacy chain will also start offering them in selected pharmacies from November.

Walmart also offers over-the-counter hearing aids online and in stores in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. The devices will be available in other locations across the country, according to the company. Prices range from $199 to $999 depending on the device.

Best Buy offers 20 over-the-counter hearing aids online at prices ranging from $200 to $3,000, according to the company. The electronics retailer will offer the devices in 300 stores nationwide later this month.

And Hy-Vee, a supermarket chain, will offer four different hearing aids online and in 34 locations across Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin this week. Prices range from $499 to $999. By the end of the year, the devices will be available in 100 stores.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a rule in August allowing hearing aids to be sold without a prescription for adults 18 and older with mild to moderate hearing loss. People with severe hearing loss and children still need prescriptions for devices.

President Joe Biden had issued an executive order in 2021 directing the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA to develop a rule allowing the sale of hearing aids without a prescription. The White House announced the availability of hearing aids earlier Monday.

Some 30 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss, but only about a fifth of those people have hearing aids and use them, according to the FDA. According to the agency, many people who could benefit from the devices cannot access them due to cost, while others do not use them due to perceived stigma.

The FDA, in its analysis, estimated that over-the-counter hearing aids could save consumers about $1,438 because they are not associated with expensive professional services.

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