By Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE
NACDS President and CEO

Congress has a chance to advance one specific aspect of healthcare innovation, and it should make the most of this opportunity.

Here is the issue: legislation is under consideration that would help to bring to market new sunscreens. While ingredients in these new products are currently awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, they already are being used to prevent melanoma in other countries. The American Cancer Society estimates that one person dies of melanoma every hour.

At the NACDS Total Store Expo, I noted that The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that it initially was going to mock the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Sunscreen Innovation Act in July. The editorial board – at first glance – thought the legislation was not very ambitious, and reflected its overall perceptions of the current Congress. The paper’s editors ultimately recognized the merits of the bill, and wrote in support of it.

Since that time, the Senate passed its version of the legislation. The conventional wisdom maintains that the differences between the two chambers’ bipartisan bills can be resolved such that a final piece of legislation could make its way to the President’s desk.

This issue reflects the health and wellness issues that bring together the pharmacy and the front end, and that relate to NACDS’ chain and associate members alike. Hopefully, this issue also will bring together the political parties, the House and the Senate, and Congress and the Administration.

It has been said that politics is the art of the possible, and this is a great opportunity to get something done for one focused aspect of healthcare innovation.