On Apr. 26, 2013, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Related Agencies held a hearing with the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg regarding the Fiscal Year 2014 budget request for the FDA.
During this hearing, subcommittee ranking member Sam Farr (D-CA) shared a personal story about his brother-in-law, an outdoorsman diagnosed with melanoma that ultimately proved fatal. Farr expressed his concern that the FDA had not acted upon any of the eight pending sunscreen ingredient applications that have been pending for over a decade and asked Hamburg to explain the delay in taking action on these applications.
While the Public Access to SunScreens (PASS) Coalition was encouraged to hear that the FDA considers sunscreen safety a priority, PASS is concerned that Hamburg had no details as to when the decade-long delay would be addressed, and new sunscreen ingredients would be approved. The PASS Coalition expresses its condolences for Farr's family loss to melanoma and thanks Farr for pressing the FDA to address the growing skin cancer epidemic in the United States by ensuring Americans have access to the latest effective sunscreens.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 75,000 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year and nearly 10,000 people will not survive melanoma in 2013. The American people need access to safe and effective broad-spectrum, photostable UV screens to protect themselves against the harmful effects of the sun. The PASS Coalition looks forward to continuing to work with the FDA to seek a timely regulatory pathway to market for new and effective sunscreen ingredients in the United States.
The PASS Coalition is a multi-stakeholder coalition of public health organizations, dermatologists, sunscreen ingredient companies and concerned citizens who will work collaboratively with the FDA, the White House and Congress to establish a timely and transparent framework for approval of the next generation of UV active filters for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreens.