Unlikely Alliance Presses for Sunscreen Approvals

PASS Coalition nets strange bedfellows to push the FDA to approve ingredients that are readily available in other countries

An unusual coalition of skin cancer groups, dermatologists and companies that make sunscreens is prodding Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to speed up approvals for new ingredients to block the sun’s rays.

The Public Access to Sunscreens, or PASS, Coalition, includes such companies as BASF Corp., L’Oreal USA, Ashland Inc., DeWolf Chemical Inc. and Fitz Chem Corp., as well as the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Melanoma Research Foundation and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Holland & Knight is managing the effort.

“We do not [usually] work with companies who manufacture sunscreen, so this is definitely unique,” said Shelby Moneer, a health educator for the Melanoma Research Foundation. “Our goal is certainly the same as everyone else’s in the coalition.”

The effort is built around getting FDA approval for sunscreen ingredients, or filters, that are already available in other countries but have not yet been cleared for sale in the U.S.

“If there is something better, and the FDA can help get those things approved so they’re available to the consumer, then we’re going to help to prevent those skin cancers,” Moneer said. “We’re not trying to make a bunch of money or do anything that’s downplaying what’s already out there. We’re just hoping to push a little.”

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