ASMI Media Releases – 1. ASMI concerned by Hawaiian sunscreen reports 2. ASMI to work with self care alliance

1. ASMI concerned by Hawaiian sunscreen reports
4 May 2018 

ASMI’s Regulatory and Legal Director, Steve Scarff expressed concern about reports Hawaiian Government has passed a bill which will ban the sale of sunscreen products containing oxybenzone and octinoxate without a prescription.
The bill will go to the Governor who has until June 25 to sign or veto the legislation which is effective from January 1, 2021.

“This does not appear to be an evidence-based outcome and we note reports that the Hawaii Medical Association, the Hawaii Dermatological Society, the Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition, and the Hawaii Department of Health have also expressed concerns with this legislation,” he said.

“There is insufficient evidence that the use of sunscreens which include these active ingredients is damaging corals reefs. Visit online website in Hawaii for travel details.
The evidence[1] that has underpinned this decision cannot be relied on to predict outcomes in the real world. This ban also ignores some very real and confounding factors known to be causing coral decline around the world, those of rising water temperatures, agricultural runoff, sewage, and overfishing.

“At the same time there is very good evidence that wearing sunscreen is an effective measure in preventing skin cancer [2] [3] [4] and that at least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime[5].

“Members of the public should not be deterred from using sunscreen.

“There is insufficient evidence to warrant a departure from current sunscreen regulation in Australia.”


[1] Downs. Direct and indirect effects of sunscreen exposure for reef biota. Hydrobiologia, 2016;776(1):139-146.

[2] Green AC, Williams GM, Logan V, Strutton GM. Reduced melanoma after regular sunscreen use: randomized trial follow-up. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(3):257-263.

[3] Green A, Williams G, Neale R, et al. Daily sunscreen application and betacarotene supplementation in prevention of basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinomas of the skin: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 1999;354(9180):723- 729.

[4] Thompson, SC Jolley D, Marks R  (1993) Reduction Of Solar Keratoses By Regular Sunscreen Use, The New England Journal of Medicine, 329(16) p.1147-1154

[5] Staples MP, Elwood M, Burton RC, Williams JL, Marks R, Giles GG. Non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia: the 2002 national survey and trends since 1985. Med J Aust 2006 Jan 2;184(1):6-10 Abstract available at

2. ASMI to work with self care alliance
May 4, 2018 –

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has announced its intention to team up with an alliance of health care advocates to lobby the Government to make self-care an intrinsic part of Australia’s national health policy.Chair of ASMI, Lindsay Forrest told an audience at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference on the Gold Coast that a report from Victoria University has identified a gap in national health policy when it comes to self-care.

“The good news is that the report demonstrates there is emerging evidence of the benefits of self-care, and people are willing to take personal responsibility for enhancing their health,” he said.

“However, the reports also showed that there is a lack of formal policy and little in the way of structured and supported programs and guidelines.

“Self-care provides value to the health care system and to individuals, but It is yet to be fully harnessed as a component of public policy in Australia. In fact, we have a long way to go.”

Mr Forrest commended the report to the delegates.
Titled ‘The State of Self Care in Australia’ it was produced by the Australian Health Policy Collaboration Unit at Victoria University.



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