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President and Congress Agree on Something: Sunscreen Innovation on the Way

by kelly / January, 21 2015 01:30

Here's some exciting news in the world of sunscreen and a small win for sun protection!  Recently President Obama signed the Sunscreen Innovation Act into law after it was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives.  The law will allow the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to approve new sunscreen ingredients more quickly. 


You might wonder if this is really an issue?  Well, the last time a new sunscreen ingredient was approved by the FDA was 1990.  That means it's been 24 years...a long, long time.  Plus since 2002, 12 years ago, eight ingredients have been submitted to the FDA. Most of these ingredients have been available for over a decade in Europe, Asia and Latin America.  They're still waiting on review and approval from the FDA.  Obviously with these stats and skin cancer the most common cancer in the US, it is time from the Sunscreen Innovation Act.  Plus it's not just about these eight ingredients.


Under the new law, any person can submit a sunscreen ingredient or combination of ingredients to be reviewed by the FDA to determine if its safe and effective. The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research must then evaluate the ingredient(s) within 300 days of submission or within a shorter period time for requests that were pending prior to the law passing.  For example the eight ingredients from 2002 may see decisions on their safety and effectiveness six months from enactment of the law.  That's quite a change of pace for those ingredients after waiting around for so long.  Finally, ingredients that are found to be safe and effective by the FDA can then be used to make sunscreen. 


Now the backlog of eight ingredients are all chemicals and even though we like our mineral protection here, we are supportive of sun protection and sunscreen innovation.  Plus it might mean that innovations like plant based sunscreen UV filters which we talked about recently could advance more quickly.  So here's to the Sunscreen Innovation Act - may it bring more innovation and advancements in suncare and the decline of skin cancer.

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