PASS Coalition Applauds Senate HELP Committee for Advancing the Sunscreen Innovation Act
(Washington, D.C.) — The Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition today applauded the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for reporting the Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141) to the full Senate floor on a bipartisan basis today.
“Today’s action by the Senate HELP Committee demonstrates the Committee’s dedication to addressing the skin cancer epidemic in the United States,” said Michael Werner, PASS Coalition Policy Advisor. “We are thrilled by the bipartisan support for the Sunscreen Innovation Act and are hopeful the full Senate will join its House colleagues and pass the Sunscreen Innovation Act before adjourning.”
“American consumers have gone over 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 U.S. 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,” Werner said.
Statements by PASS Coalition members regarding the bill’s passage are attached.
The Senate bill is similar to bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4250) the House of Representatives passed by voice vote in July. The PASS Coalition praises Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Representative John Dingell (D-MI) for their persistent work on this issue and looks forward to working with the full Senate to pass the legislation this month.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. 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 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.
The bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R. 4250/S. 2141) would streamline the approval process for new sunscreen ingredients to ensure that new sunscreen ingredients receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe. This would ensure the American public gains 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.
“As the legislation moves to the Senate floor, the PASS Coalition is appreciative of the efforts undertaken by the House of Representatives and the Senate HELP Committee to combat skin cancer, and foster American sunscreen innovation,” concluded Werner.
The PASS Coalition is a multi-stakeholder coalition of public health organizations, dermatologists, sunscreen ingredient companies, and concerned citizens who will work collaboratively with the FDA, the White House and Congress to establish a timely and transparent framework for approval of the next generation of UV active filters for OTC sunscreens.
The current membership of the PASS Coalition includes: the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, The Skin Cancer Foundation, the Sun Safe Tee Program, Dr. Harry Fallick, Dr. Elizabeth Hale, Dr. Henry Lim, Dr. Warwick Morison, Dr. Nadim Shaath, Dr. Steven Wang, Ashland Inc., BASF Corporation, Beiersdorf, DeWolf Chemical, Inc, Fitz Chem Corporation, L’Oréal USA Products, Inc, McCullough & Associates, Procter & Gamble and the Suncare Research Laboratories, A.I.G. Technologies, Product Quest LLC, ROSS Organic, Autumn Harp, Raffaelo, Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic-Energizer Holding Company Brands, Akzo Nobel Surface Chemistry LLC, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American College of Mohs Surgery, Melanoma International Foundation, Shade Foundation, Sports and Fitness Industry Association
PASS Coalition Members Statements on Passage of
Sunscreen Innovation Act, S. 2141
American College of Mohs Surgery:
“Senators have taken a bold step forward in helping combat an ever-growing epidemic of skin cancer by approving legislation that would improve the availability of more effective sunscreen products. With more than one in five Americans expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and an estimated 76,100 new cases of melanoma this year alone, Mohs surgeons are encouraged by the effort of Congressional leaders in partnering with clinicians and manufacturers to reduce the rate of skin cancer incidences moving forward. The American College of Mohs Surgery is eager to continue working with House and Senate leaders to further skin cancer awareness and prevention efforts.”
“We appreciate the committee’s broad-based support in establishing a transparent and predictable review process and ensuring that Americans will have access to the latest safe and effective sunscreens,” said John Riley, director of government relations for Ashland, which is a founding member of the PASS Coalition.
“As a pioneer in sunscreen innovation since L’Oréal’s founder invented the first sunscreen in 1936, L’Oréal USA applauds the United States Senate for today’s bipartisan passage of the Sunscreen Innovation Act, S. 2141. L’Oréal USA has always been committed to giving American consumers access to a broad range of products to meet their sun protection needs, and the passage of this legislation puts American consumers one step closer to the latest sunscreen technology.” Kristina Schake, Chief Communications Officer, L’Oreal USA
Melanoma Research Alliance:
“Today’s Committee action 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. “We are pleased with this momentum in the Senate given the House’s recent passage of a version of this bill. We urge Congress to ensure swift enactment of the Sunscreen Innovation Act so that Americans will soon have access to the most effective sunscreens to protect themselves and their loved ones from dangerous UV radiation.”
Melanoma Research Foundation:
“The Melanoma Research Foundation is pleased with today’s Senate HELP Committee action on the Sunscreen Innovation Act. This act will help further the agenda of the Surgeon General with his Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer by providing consumers with new options to block cancer-causing UV rays.”
The Shade Foundation:
“Today’s Senate HELP Committee vote is an encouraging sign and a positive step forward,” said James Norton, Chair of the Shade Foundation’s National Board of Directors. “We support passage of The Sunscreen Innovation Act and its promise to aid development of better, more effective sunscreen products. Our mission is to prevent skin cancer through education of children, and we applaud efforts that will protect today’s young people and future generations from harmful UV rays.”
“BASF commends the Senate HELP committee, including Chairman Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Alexander (R-TN) as well the bill’s lead sponsors, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), for their leadership and support on moving Sunscreen Innovation Act forward. Today’s vote represents a significant step towards ensuring the timely review of new sun protection ingredients by the FDA. BASF encourages the full Senate to consider the Act as soon as possible, and looks forward to continuing to focus on innovation and the development of new UV filters that will provide US consumers with a wider array of safe and effective sunscreen products.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation:
“The Skin Cancer Foundation applauds the Senate 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.”
Fitz Chem Corporation, Debbie Zartler, Director of Care Chemicals:
“Fitz Chem has been a strong supporter of the Sunscreen Innovation Act since its introduction into Congress earlier this year. This bill would give Americans more options for safe and effective sunscreens, which are critical to reducing the growing number of melanoma victims in the US. We are grateful to sponsoring Senator Jack Reed (D- RI), Senator Mark Kirk (R – IL) and the 14 other cosponsors of this bill in the Senate. The House passed this bill in July, and we are counting on the Senate to carry this through so that all Americans can realize the health benefits we deserve and need from this key piece of legislation.”