PASS Coalition Applauds Senate HELP Committee for Scheduling Markup of the Sunscreen Innovation Act on Wednesday, September 17th
(Washington, D.C.) — The Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition applauds the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for scheduling a markup of the bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141) for next Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
“Yesterday’s announcement by the Senate HELP Committee to consider 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.
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 lawmakers to enact the Sunscreen Innovation Act before the mid-term elections.
“We are confident that both chambers will reach agreement on a bill that will accomplish meaningful public health objectives and send the bill to the President for his signature,” Werner said.
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.
If passed by the Senate HELP Committee, 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.
“Americans lack access to the latest sunscreen ingredients, which have been widely available in Europe, Asia, and Central and South America, in some cases for over 15 years,” Werner stated.
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.