Sunday, Jun 26, 2016
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U.S. House heads toward sunscreen vote

Bill would speed approval of products

Americans are one step closer to getting as many sunscreen options as Europeans.

A U.S. House version of bipartisan legislation known as the Sunscreen Innovation Act was reported out of that chamber’s energy and commerce committee Tuesday and is headed for a full House vote. Companion legislation in the U.S. Senate remains in the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

If the legislation is approved by both chambers and signed into law by President Obama, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be required, without sacrificing safety, to streamline regulations that have kept U.S. sunscreens from being made with as many active ingredients as those found in other parts of the world.

U.S. sunscreen manufacturers are limited to three active ingredients domestically but can sell products in Europe with as many as seven.

At the same time, America’s skin-cancer cases are on the rise. A 2006 report on skin cancer from the World Health Organization ranked the global region that includes the United States as the worst region for skin-cancer incidence. The region that includes northern Europe ranked third worst.

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D., Mich.) worked with U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R., Ky.) to co-write the House version; U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) is one of 34 co-sponsors of that legislation.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) is a co-sponsor of the Senate proposal, which was written by U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D., R.I.) and Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.).

The two chambers have had respective versions of the bill since March.

During a conference call with reporters in May, Mr. Brown said reviews of some products have been delayed by FDA bureaucracy more than a decade.

The bills call for the FDA to expedite reviews of any ingredients once they have been used safely for five years in another country.

Reviews of new applications would be required to begin within 11 months.

Contact Tom Henry at: thenry@theblade.com 419-724-6079.

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