William Demant Holdings, one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers, said it could start producing less expensive Over-The-Counter (OTC) hearing aids for the U.S. market if demand increases after the OTC legislation goes into effect. North America represents the largest and most lucrative market for Demant, the parent company to well-known hearing aid brand Oticon.

Shares of Demant, GN Store Nord and Amplifon all fell earlier this month on news that the U.S. Senate voted to pass the OTC hearing aid legislation as part of the FDA Reauthorization bill.

 

Demant Keeping its Eye on OTC Hearing Aids

 

While the OTC legislation still needs to be approved and signed by President Trump, it is expected to be signed into law this year. Once the bill is signed into law, the FDA has up to three years to complete the rules and regulations surrounding OTC devices.

 

“I do not expect any significant change in the U.S. market, but should sales of products like these become substantial … we will produce some as well,”

–Soren Nielsen, CEO of William Demant

 

While Demant is the first major hearing aid organization to comment publicly on possible plans to produce OTC devices, it’s likely a safe bet to assume other major industry players already have plans to ensure they do not lose significant marketshare in North America in the coming years as the hearing aid market faces continued pressure from the consumer electronics industry.

 

Source: Reuters

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