Safe and Sound: Balancing Safety with Innovation in American Sunscreens
Currently, Americans have access to 16 sunscreen active ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent skin cancer. The last time a new OTC (Over the Counter) sunscreen ingredient was added to the FDA sunscreen monograph was 1999. Meanwhile, Europeans have access to 29 sunscreen active ingredients. In the United States there are currently eight new sunscreen ingredients that are pending FDA review, which have been used in Europe – many for over ten years. These new, and potentially better, active ingredients could allow sunscreens to last longer and provide better full spectrum coverage that could help us reverse trends of increasing melanoma incidence in this country. Unlike in Europe where sunscreens are classified as cosmetics, in the United States the FDA is required to evaluate all active ingredients in sunscreens as OTC drugs. Meaning, that all U.S. sunscreen ingredients must be found generally recognized as safe and effective (GRASE) in the same manner as other OTC medications. The FDA says that this is critical to keeping us safe, but is it possible to balance innovation and safety?
Sunscreen Laws may Hinder Protecting Children from Exposure
With the launch of summer comes conventional discussion around ranking sunscreens, and chatter between the experts to parse what should be considered in choosing the most effective among them. It’s also a key conversation among parents heading into the season with an eye on protecting their children from sun exposure. Yet, something remaining a central concern among those parents is the public policy surrounding use of sunscreen in schools.
Melanoma Prevention: The Latest Advances & Future Directions
During my interview with Susan Swetter, MD, Professor of Dermatology,
Stanford University and VA Palo Alto, at the Melanoma Research Alliance Ninth Annual Scientific Retreat in Washington, DC, I inquired about the Panel Discussion she was part of titled: News from the field: What’s going well and what remains to be done?