Well, well, things actually can get done in Washington—when you know the right people. And one industry group was able to accomplish in one year what others failed to achieve for more than 30 years. The Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition applauded the House of Representatives for its bipartisan passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, HR 4250, which passed by voice vote. The Senate is expected to take up the measure following its summer recess.
"Today's swift action taken by House of Representatives in passing the Sunscreen Innovation Act is a major step toward addressing the urgent public health crisis posed by skin cancer, and particularly melanoma," said Michael Werner, PASS Coalition Policy Advisor.
"American consumers have gone over a decade without the kinds of innovative sunscreen ingredients our foreign counterparts have enjoyed for years. At a time when skin cancer rates have reached epidemic levels, this unnecessarily long timeline means that consumers have to wait that much longer to get the latest sunscreens in their hands," Werner said.
The bill passed includes a transparent review process within a predictable timeline for all sunscreen applicants and the opportunity for Congressional oversight over the process to make sure the process is working as designed. The timelines include: final decisions on pending applications within approximately one year and final decisions on new applications within approximately one and a half years.
"The American consumer has waited far too long for the latest in sunscreen technology. We now call on the Senate to follow the lead of the House and pass their version of the Sunscreen Innovation Act as soon as possible," Werner concluded.
The bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (HR 4250/S 2141), was introduced by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John Dingell (D-MI) in the House and Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in the Senate. According to bill sponsors, this legislation will streamline FDA's sunscreen approval process to ensure that new sunscreen ingredients receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe. This would allow the American public to gain access to the latest safe, effective and innovative sunscreen products to protect against the sun’s most harmful rays.
The last over-the-counter, (OTC) sunscreen ingredient to be approved by FDA was in the 1990s. Since 2002, eight new sunscreen applications have been filed and are still awaiting review 12 years later. New sunscreen technologies currently awaiting approval in the U.S. have been widely available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, in some cases for more than 15 years.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the US. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer — including melanoma — than the combined incidence of breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer. On average, one person dies every hour from melanoma, the deadliest of the skin cancers because of its ability to move quickly and spread to distant organs in the body, and melanoma rates are rising dramatically across demographics. Over the past 40 years, melanoma rates have increased 800% among young women and 400% among young men.
PASS Coalition Members Statements on Passage of Sunscreen Innovation Act, HR 4250American College of Mohs Surgery:
"Mohs surgeons continue to address an ever growing epidemic of skin cancer, where more than one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. This important legislation will go a long way in helping prevent skin cancers by improving the availability of more effective sunscreen products, and we are committed to its passage."
Suncare Research Laboratories:
"We applaud passage by the House of the Sunscreen Innovation Act."
Melanoma International Foundation:
"By passing the Sunscreen Innovation Act, congress is helping the public find the move innovative ways to protect their skin from the potential harmful rays of the sun. Skin cancer has the top incidence in this country of all cancers and any tools that can be implemented to prevent it and the potentially deadly melanoma, will benefit from passage of this act."
"We appreciate the support of our elected representatives in the House in passing this important bill," said James Mish, who leads the Consumer Specialties business at Ashland Inc. "For consumers, it will mean having access to the same level of sunscreen protection that much of the rest of the world has been enjoying for years. For sunscreen manufacturers and the FDA, it would establish a clear pathway for these products to be reviewed quickly and thoroughly."
“As a pioneer in sunscreen innovation since L'Oreal's founder invented the first sunscreen in 1936, L'Oreal USA applauds the House of Representatives for today's bipartisan passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, HR 4250. The science of skin has always been at the core of L’Oreal’s business and the passage of this legislation puts American consumers that much closer to having access to a broad range and selection of products to meet their personal preferences and sun protection needs.” - Kristina Schake, Chief Communications Officer
Melanoma Research Alliance:
"Today's speedy passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act brings us one step closer to a streamlined and transparent review process for innovative sunscreen ingredients," said Wendy Selig, president & CEO of the Melanoma Research Alliance. "The overwhelming support for this bill demonstrates the undeniable need for better methods to prevent skin cancer and melanoma. We continue to urge Americans to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from dangerous UV radiation-having access to the most effective sunscreen products is critical to this effort."
Melanoma Research Foundation:
“We are seeing the incidence of melanoma rise at epidemic rates, particularly among young women,” said Tim Turnham, Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). “This act will open the door to more consumer choice when it comes to protection from the UV radiation that causes most melanomas.”
The Shade Foundation:
"The Shade Foundation is thrilled that the House passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act today," said James Norton, Chair of the Shade Foundation's National Board of Directors. "It's a step in the right direction toward the development of better, more effective sunscreen products, and as a national foundation devoted to the prevention of skin cancer through education of children, we applaud any effort that will protect today's young people and future generations from harmful UV rays."
"With the House of Representatives today passing the Sunscreen Innovation Act, H.R. 4250, U.S. consumers are one step closer to having access to a broader range of sunscreens available to protect them. BASF would like to thank Representatives Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John D. Dingell (D-MI) for their leadership on this legislation.
BASF strongly supports the Sunscreen Innovation Act, because this bipartisan, bicameral legislation will ensure a timely review of new ingredients in the sun care category by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Enactment of this legislation will allow BASF to continue to innovate and develop new sunscreen filters for sale in the U.S., thus providing U.S. consumers with a wider array and choice of safe and effective sunscreen products."
The Skin Cancer Foundation:
"The Skin Cancer Foundation applauds the House of Representatives for making sun protection a priority and voting in support of the Sunscreen Innovation Act. This legislation is crucial, as it will help ensure that Americans have access to advanced sunscreen ingredients."
"We place the highest value on consulting with our customers on concepts, ideas, new technology and ever changing industry landscape to bring safe and effective products to market. Reforming the sunscreen approval process is important to our organization because more and more customers are concerned about the risk of skin cancer and desire to create products as preventative measures. The current UV filters available in the US are inadequate for formulators and product developers, especially when compared to UV filters available overseas."
Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC:
"Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC is a supplier of effective ingredients (film formers, aesthetics and rheology modifiers, bioactive ingredients, emulsifiers and moisturizers) for sun care products. Akzo Nobel welcomes the passage of the bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (HR 4250) by the US House of Representatives, which brings Americans one step closer to gaining access to the latest sunscreen technology and more effective UV filters."