Hearing aid scams on AG results list

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COLUMBUS — A bipartisan coalition of 42 states and territories co-led by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to preserve states’ power to enforce their laws on consumer protection in the sale of over-the-counter hearing aids. .

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

“There must be affordable options for people in Ohio who need a hearing aid, but some of the ‘aids’ out there are nothing more than a decorative earmold,” Yost said. “States’ ability to protect consumers with things like warranties, refunds and exchanges is vital and these new rules could prevent that.”

Currently, all 50 states have licensing requirements for hearing care professionals and many have significant protections for consumers of hearing aids, including mandatory warranties and returns and advertising restrictions. Attorneys general warn that rules currently under review by the FDA could unwittingly impede or repeal these important consumer protections, undermining states’ ability to ensure safe and affordable access to hearing aids.

In a letter sent to the FDA, the attorneys general urged the agency to explicitly clarify that any new federal rules will not prejudice these crucial consumer protections.

“While the FDA’s proposed rule provides consumers with much-needed relief in the form of more affordable and accessible hearing aids, it could have unintended negative consequences for our constituents,” the letter states. “The proposed rule includes broad language that could be interpreted to repeal virtually all state-requested preemptive exemptions issued by the FDA since 1980 – even those related exclusively to non-OTC hearing aids. Such language could create unnecessary confusion. and the potential for unnecessary litigation.”

The attorneys general further urged the FDA to strengthen age verification processes to protect those under 18 and to clarify that over-the-counter hearing aids are only suitable for people with mild to mild hearing loss. moderate.

“Without these appropriate safeguards to protect consumer health, over-the-counter hearing aids could result in hearing loss or other harm to consumers,” the letter states.

The attorneys general of Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Maine join Yost and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong in leading the call to preserve state protections. , Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota , Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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