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Senate Request for Comments RE: the Sunscreen Innovation Act

The Senate is seeking public comments regarding the Sunscreen Innovation Act. Comments are due by COB Friday, August 29th, 2014.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act is one step closer to full Congressional approval! After passing in the House of Representatives, the Senate is scheduled to mark up the bill September 17th, 2014. They've asked for public comments. Our goal is to solicit feedback on policy merits, potential unintended consequences, and potential opportunities to improve the legislative language. It's critical this legislation happens before Congress adjourns for the year.

You can read more about the bill here.

Please copy and paste the following language in the body of an email (be sure to edit the language inside brackets), and send it to [email protected] by 6 PM on Friday, August 29th.


Subject: The Sunscreen Innovation Act

Dear Chairman Harkin and Ranking Member Alexander:

As an advocate for the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and a [melanoma patient/caregiver], I appreciate your efforts to enact The Sunscreen Innovation Act (the Act).  The Act will help ensure that Americans have access to new sunscreen products. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States.  One American every hour dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.  It is essential that Congress enacts this legislation this year. 

We support the provisions in the Act that create statutory deadlines for the FDA's review of sunscreens.  This provides for a predictable timeframe for review of sunscreen ingredient applications.  We support the provisions requiring FDA to rule on pending applications within 8-12 months and new applications within 18 to 20 months.

However, there are still several provisions that are a source of concern. For example, the Senate version removes key language from the House bill that would have required the FDA to convene an Advisory Committee at the sponsor's request. Advisory Committee review is critical because it supports FDA with outside experts, provides transparency to the review process, and provides objective scientific analysis on the data submitted in support of a sunscreen application.

Finally, this bill includes provisions for other OTC products including allowing non-sunscreen products to participate in the new review process.  We are concerned that doing so could introduce policy issues that could prevent the Congress from being able to complete the Act this year.

Thank you again for your hard work on this issue.  The Act provides a tremendous opportunity to reduce the prevalence of skin cancer, while improving the regulatory processes used to review new and innovative sunscreen products.


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