On May 20th I had the opportunity to attend a Washington briefing sponsored by The Hill newspaper, the Public Access to Sunscreens Coalition advocacy group and L’Oreal USA Inc. The discussion centered on legislation calling for an acceleration of the FDA’s review of sunscreen active-ingredient time-and-extent applications.
Currently, U.S. consumers do not have access to the latest sunscreen technology as other countries due to a backlog of sunscreen ingredient approvals. The industry wants to alleviate the current 12-year delay and streamline the sun care ingredient review process so U.S. consumers can gain access to the most effective and innovative sunscreen products. Not surprisingly, the last Over-The-Counter (OTC) sunscreen ingredient to be approved was in the 1990s. Since that time, eight new sunscreen applications have been filed and are still awaiting review.
A bipartisan group of Members of Congress introduced the bicameral Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R.4250/ S.2141) in March. During the briefing all parties agreed the legislation could ride the wave of momentum it has garnered and pass this year.
Details of The Sunscreen Innovation Act (H.R.4250/ S.2141)
With every House and a number of Senate seats up for election in November, it seems that everyone involved is moving quickly to secure passage of both bills by August. Once you get into September of an election year it’s harder for Congress to come together on issues and campaigning commitments take more of a member’s time and attention. However, because the bills have bi-partisan support their chance of passage is more likely compared to the controversial draft legislation being debated to overhaul the outdated FDA Cosmetics Act.