Last Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to consumers that four brands of sunscreen pills that are currently on the market do not work. But Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Sunday that it isn’t enough to just warn the public. The pills do not protect people from sunburn and skin cancer. Schumer is adamant that they should all be pulled from store shelves immediately.
“The FDA should be burning mad at the handful of companies marketing shady pills and capsules as a new alternative to long-tested SPF sun protection,” Schumer said according to The New York Daily News.
The pills which have been marketed under the brands Sunsafe Rx, Solaricare, Sunergetic, and Advanced Skin Brightening Formula have not passed any regulatory testing proving their effectiveness. NBC News reported that only topical lotions or creams can protect skin from harmful UV rays, burns, and other skin conditions.
“There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen,” FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb declared in a statement.
Schumer is concerned that the general public will assume that the pills will protect them while exposing themselves to health risks. He wants a guarantee that these companies will not mislead the public and take advantage of the summer selling season to protect their company profits.
According to the Sunsafe Rx website, their product professes to protect skin and eyes from harmful rays, prevent wrinkles, and make skin more radiant with just one pill per day. But Napa Valley Bioscience, the company that manufactures Sunsafe Rx, told TIME that they do not market their product as a sunscreen.
Advanced Skin Brightening Formula claims to help prevent brown spots and combat the effects of sun exposure from the inside out. These products are being marketed as natural remedies that protect, repair, and renew the skin, but there is no scientific evidence from the FDA to prove their claims.
The FDA announced its commitment to pushing more products to the marketplace that are topical remedies to sun exposure.
“Given the recognized public health benefits of sunscreen use, the FDA is committed to finding ways to help bring a wider assortment of safe and effective sunscreen products to the public.”
While Schumer sees the warnings from the FDA as a good start, he does not want to take any chances with the general public. The effectiveness of these products are unproven and he thinks they should be taken off the market as soon as possible.