Hearing Treatment Drugs May Be On Market Within Five Years

Multiple Drugs In Development Could Be Available To Treat Hearing Loss And Tinnitus By 2020

20.04.2015

The first drugs to treat hearing conditions such as tinnitus and hearing loss could be available in the next five years, a new report has claimed.

Research conducted by the charity Action on Hearing Loss focused on five drugs currently in the final stages of clinical testing and a further 13 in the early stages of clinical development, and predicted the first could be approved by 2020.

The new drugs could help alleviate some types of tinnitus, reduce hearing loss caused by loud noise exposure, treat middle ear infections, and alleviate the hearing-related side effects of some anti-cancer drugs.

Action on Hearing Loss chief executive Paul Breckell said: "Remarkable progress has been made bringing us to a point where there are a number of promising new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus being clinically tested.

"We're about to enter a new exciting era where people confronting hearing loss won't just be limited to hearing aids and cochlear implants - drug treatments are within touching distance.

"Currently 10 million people in the UK have a hearing loss, which will increase to 14.5 million by 2031. As we’re experiencing now with dementia, hearing loss is a potential public health crisis, so we will continue to fund research into new treatments."

Expert Opinion
Our work means we have seen the huge impact that conditions such as noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus can have on those affected, with many people developing the issues as a result of safety failings within the workplace.

"The progress made on drugs in this area is very welcome to see and could provide huge benefits for those whose lives have been touched by these problems.

"We look forward to seeing further developments in this area in the coming years, but also urge employers to recognise their responsibilities when it comes to protecting their staff from such problems."
Alex Shorey, Solicitor