Joining a bipartisan group of lawmakers that aims to streamline the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) approval process for sunscreen ingredients, some of which have reportedly been awaiting review for 12 years, U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Sheldon Brown (D-Ohio) have recently announced their support for the Sunscreen Innovation Act.
Disappointed with what they deem a “lethargic review process,” the senators note that the last over-the-counter sunscreen ingredient was approved in the 1990s and eight ingredients have been awaiting approval for more than 10 years. Most of the ingredients have apparently been widely used for years in Europe and Asia and are generally considered safe and effective. In many cases, the senators observe, sunscreen products available in other countries protect against UVA rays far better than many American products. “It is uncon- scionable that better sunscreen products, made in America, are not available to help our citizens avoid skin cancer,” said Brown. “The FDA’s review backlog of more than a decade is unacceptable and puts lives at risk. This bipartisan legislation would eliminate the red tape that hurts the health and well-being of Americans and limits economic opportunity for our local businesses.”
If passed, the Sunscreen Innovation Act would require FDA to decide on new sunscreen applications within 11 months or less, depending on whether they are new or existing applications. Under current law, there is no mandatory timeline for this process. See TheHill.com, May 21, 2014; and Time.com, May 30, 2014.
Meanwhile, U.S.-based company Osmosis Skincare claims to have invented the world’s first drinkable sunscreen that allegedly provides protection comparable to an SPF 30 lotion by making water molecules beneath the skin “vibrate” to cancel out harmful rays. The product, called Harmonized H20, purports to grant sun protection for approximately three hours. See Time, May 27, 2014.