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Kinney Drugs now selling hearing aids over the counter

View of pharmacy Kinney Drugs from street.
Multiple outlets, including local chain Kinney Drugs, began selling hearing aids over the counter for the first time in October.

A drug store chain is announcing it now has over the counter hearing aids for sale. Kinney Drugs says it’s now selling the devices at 52 locations and expects to add more. A federal law in October approved the sale at pharmacies.

Kinney’s Senior Marketing Director Judith Cowden says before the change patients had to go through multiple steps to get a hearing aid.

“The only thing that people could do was go to an audiologist or a licensed hearing professional for a test and a prescription hearing aid. And, those are fantastic, but they really are meant for people with more severe or profound hearing loss,” Cowden said.   

Cowden says the devices can range in type but are mostly affordable.

“For a pair of amplifiers, it’s $40. It’s very, very approachable from a price standpoint. And are up to- a hearing aid that’s Bluetooth compatible that you can pair with your phone and you can listen to your music and have phone conversations, those are about a $1,000 a pair. Still, you know, a far cry from $5,000,” Cowden said.  

Cowden says insurance doesn’t cover the cost but customers can use dollars from their flexible spending or health savings accounts.

Editor's note: Kinney Drugs is a financial supporter of WAER.

Isabel Flores is a graduate student studying Broadcast and Digital Journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May of 2023. As a multimedia reporter, she helps to present as well as produce audio and digital content for WAER. In her free time, Isabel enjoys working out and listening to all genres of music.