Senate Bill Passes To End FDA Stranglehold On Sunscreen Innovation

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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Without any objection, the Senate has passed a bill forcing the FDA to speed up the approval process for sunscreen technology, HAPPI reports.

Sunscreen technology has stagnated in the United States since the 1990s, not because companies have failed to innovate, but because the Food and Drug Administration has been sitting on proposals submitted 12 years ago without even reviewing them.

The proposals include new sunscreen ingredients, and since the FDA has dropped the ball, the Senate has picked it up with the passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act on Wednesday night.

Rates of melanoma have skyrocketed in the last 40 years, giving lawmakers a sense of urgency. For men, melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, has increased 400% for women, 800%. The new bill would speed up the FDA’s approval process, specifically for sunscreen products, and mandate a predictable time frame for a decision.

“Americans have gone more than a decade without the kinds of innovative sunscreen products citizens in other countries have enjoyed for years. Meanwhile, skin cancer has become a public health crisis that has lead US Surgeon General to issue A Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer calling for the government and stakeholders to act immediately to address this deadly, but preventable disease,” said Michael Werner, policy advisor for the Public Access to SunScreen Coalition.

Other countries have benefited from new sunscreen technology, but the FDA has gummed up the review process, putting the United States sometimes 15 years behind Europe, Asia, and Central and South America.

“Congress’ commitment to addressing the skin cancer epidemic in the United States was clearly demonstrated in tonight’s Senate passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act,” Werner said. “It’s a great day for Americans. Now US consumers will be able to get the latest in sunscreen technology that has been available to citizens of countries all over the world.”

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