The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 – bipartisan legislation that would make certain types of hearing aids available over the counter – is now a step closer to becoming a reality after it was attached to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) User Fee Reauthorization Act of 2017, which has been termed “must-pass” legislation.

On May 11, the Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee approved the Reauthorization Act. It will now be sent to the Senate for a vote at some point in the near future. The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 is one of the 20 amendments to the FDA User Fee Bill.

The bill has also passed the first hurdle in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee adopted the amendment to the FDA User Fee Bill. The User Fee Bill is slated to be voted on by the full committee and then on to the House Floor in the coming weeks.

HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley attended the Senate Committee meeting while Lise Hamlin, director of public policy, and Barry Kasinitz, HLAA public policy advisor,have been meeting with House and Senate staff regarding the bill.