IntriCon Backs President's Signing Of FDA Reauthorization Act Into Law
Legislation Includes Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017
ARDEN HILLS, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IntriCon Corporation (NASDAQ: IIN), a designer, developer, manufacturer and distributor of miniature and micro-miniature body-worn devices, announced that on Friday, August 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 2430, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization Act, which includes the Over-the-Counter Hearing (OTC) Aid Act of 2017. The legislation is designed to enable adults with mild- to moderate-hearing loss to access OTC hearing aids without being seen by a hearing care professional.
“By signing the OTC Hearing Aid Act into law, we’ve entered a new era in hearing healthcare. IntriCon is at the forefront and spearheading an effort to create innovative solutions that provide greater hearing device access at a much lower cost for millions of Americans.”
Said Mark S. Gorder, IntriCon’s president and chief executive officer, “This is an important step forward in hearing health. The OTC Hearing Aid Act is designed to provide greater public access to OTC hearing aids at a lower cost. To reiterate, we believe that this new law can remove the significant barriers existing today that prevent innovative hearing health solutions. Moreover, we feel that it will invigorate competition, spur innovation and facilitate the development of an ecosystem of hearing healthcare that provides affordable and accessible solutions to millions of unserved or underserved Americans.”
The FDA Reauthorization Act, which was introduced in March by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was passed by the U.S. House on July 12, 2017, and the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2017. It will require the FDA to create and regulate a category of OTC hearing aids to ensure they meet the same high standards for safety, consumer labeling, and manufacturing protection that all other medical devices must meet.
Additionally, the OTC Hearing Aid Act mandates that the FDA establish an OTC hearing aid category for adults with “perceived” mild- to moderate-hearing loss within three years of passage of the legislation. The FDA also must finalize a rule within 180 days after the close of the comment period, detailing what level of safety, labeling and consumer protections will be included.
Nearly 30 million Americans experience age-related hearing loss, including over half of adults between the ages of 70 to 79. Yet only a small share of Americans with hearing loss—around 14 percent—use hearing aids, primarily due to their high cost. Hearing aids are not covered by Medicare or most private insurance plans, and out-of-pocket costs for a single hearing aid average $2,400, and 70 percent suffer hearing loss in both ears, increasing costs to, on average, $4,800—far out of reach for many consumers.
Concluded Gorder, “By signing the OTC Hearing Aid Act into law, we’ve entered a new era in hearing healthcare. IntriCon is at the forefront and spearheading an effort to create innovative solutions that provide greater hearing device access at a much lower cost for millions of Americans.”
About IntriCon Corporation
Headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn., IntriCon Corporation designs, develops, manufactures and distributes miniature and micro-miniature body-worn devices. These advanced products help medical, healthcare and professional communications companies meet the rising demand for smaller, more intelligent and better connected devices. IntriCon has facilities in the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe. The company’s common stock trades under the symbol “IIN” on the NASDAQ Global Market. For more information about IntriCon, visit www.intricon.com.
Statements made in this release and in IntriCon’s other public filings and releases that are not historical facts or that include forward-looking terminology are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements may be affected by known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are beyond IntriCon’s control, and may cause IntriCon’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results, performance and achievements expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors are detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, regardless of whether new information becomes available, future developments occur or otherwise.