News & Press
Senate Unanimously Approves Sunscreen Innovation Act
The Melanoma Research Foundation Applauds the Senate for Unanimous Approval of Sunscreen Innovation Act
Act Will Expedite FDA Review of New Sunscreen Filters, Providing Consumers With More Ways to Protect Themselves from Damaging UV Radiation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the U.S. Senate voted on and passed the Sunscreen Innovation Act (SIA), sending a clear message to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it must address the 12 year backlog of new sunscreen filters waiting to be approved and released for consumer access.
“Americans are limited in their choices for compounds that block UV radiation because of the long-standing bureaucratic gridlock at the FDA that prevents new agents from being approved” said Tim Turnham, Executive Director of the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF). “Meanwhile, the Surgeon General has issued a Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer that highlights the importance of sun safety. This act will help further the agenda of the Surgeon General by providing consumers with new options to block cancer-causing UV rays.”
The bipartisan Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R. 4250/S. 2141), was introduced by Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) in the House and Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) in the Senate. This legislation will streamline FDA's sunscreen approval process to ensure that new sunscreen ingredients receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe. This would allow the American public to gain 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.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women in their 20s and the number of diagnoses are increasing every year, emphasizing the need for greater prevention efforts. The SIA was introduced to not only to urge the FDA to expedite its review and approval process, but also hold the FDA accountable for the important role it should play in preventing future melanoma diagnoses and deaths.
Lauren Smith Dyer
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Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States and can strike men and women of all ages, all races and skin types. With a one in 50 lifetime risk of developing melanoma, nearly 77,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2014, resulting in almost 10,000 deaths. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25- to 29-years-old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15- to 29-years-old.
The majority of melanomas occur on the skin; in fact, melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma can also occur in the eye (ocular, or uveal melanoma), in mucous membranes (mucosal melanoma), or even beneath fingernails or toenails.
About the Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent organization devoted to melanoma. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. The MRF is an active advocate for the melanoma community, helping to raise awareness of this disease and the need for a cure. The MRF’s website is the premier source for melanoma information seekers. More information is available at www.melanoma.org. Find the MRF on Facebook and Twitter.