House panel presses approval of sunscreen products

A House committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote a bill that would require regulators to make a swift decision on whether to approve new sunscreen products available outside the United States.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Sunscreen Innovation Act would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to quickly review and approve or deny sunscreen ingredients, some of which have been waiting on approval for a decade.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said a decision on the products is long overdue.

“There is a significant problem with skin cancer in this country now,” said Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), a co-sponsor of the bill. “We are correcting that by allowing our consumers have access to substances that are not available in our country but have been available in Europe.”

FDA reviewers are currently holding up eight sunscreen applications that lawmakers and advocates say could help prevent skin cancer.

The sunscreen bill requires the FDA to make a decision on new applications within 11 months and existing applications within eight months, but would not change other aspects of the approval process.

Other health bills approved by the House committee Tuesday included:

– A bill that would classify some anabolic steroids found in dietary supplements as controlled substances (H.R. 4771).

– A bill that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to continue research into stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death, and sudden unexplained death in children, and develop best practices for medical professionals based on their findings (H.R. 669).

– A bill to reauthorize grant programs that support emergency medical care for children (H.R. 4290).

– A bill to continue funding research on muscular dystrophy which includes new language on the disorder and new directions for gathering data based on racial and ethnic disparities (H.R. 594).