Health Minister: The vision is for The Bahamas to emerge as a global leader in longevity and regenerative medicine

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Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville is joined by Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis, and Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Chester Cooper in chatting with participants at 2024 HEALinc Future Health Innovation Summit at Atlantis, Paradise Island, April 28, 2024.   (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

PARADISE ISLAND, The Bahamas — The Bahamas stands at the forefront ready to bridge the gap between longevity, quality of life, and comprehensive preventive treatments, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville told a group of medical innovators assembled at Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island.

The Minister of Health and Wellness delivered the keynote address at the official opening of the 2024 HEALinc Future Health Innovation Summit, on Sunday, April 28, 2024 under the focus, ‘Proactive Pathways to Longevity and Regenerative Health’.

The more than 30 scientists, medical practitioners, investors, regulatory experts, and policymakers represented The Bahamas, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Europe, the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

“This indeed is an exhilarating era for medicine and healthcare and as a country, we intend to capitalize on both the medical and financial benefits this new and exciting industry has to offer,” Dr. Darville said.

The Summit serves as a gathering place for forward-thinking local and international innovators, healthcare professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors to share best practices, and new ideas in medicine and biotechnology.

“The evolution and application of longevity and regenerative health therapies and technologies are increasingly influencing our daily well-being and shaping our future health outcomes,” observed Dr. Darville.

In this vein, he shared that The Bahamas introduced the Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act, 2013, through which the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee (NSCEC) was formed and is chaired by Dr. Desirée Cox.

“The vision then, as it stands now, is for The Bahamas to emerge as a global leader in longevity and regenerative medicine,” said Dr. Darville.

He recalled that at last year’s HEALinc Summit at the Atlantis, he announced the PLP Administration’s to repeal and replace the 2013 Stem Cell Act.

And recently, the minister lay on the table in the House of Assembly, the Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill, 2024.

“With the passing and enactment of this new piece of legislation, The Bahamas will be poised for further growth and development by way of life-changing research and therapies in regenerative medicine proven to improve lives, longevity, and the overall health and wellness of residents,” said Dr. Darville.

The global market for longevity and anti-sen-es-cence therapy has surged, from $25 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach over $44 billion by 2030.

“My ministry’s 2024 Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill aims to establish a Longevity Regenerative Therapy Board and a separate Ethics Review Committee to ensure meticulous vetting, safety, and ethical practices,” Dr. Darville said.

This new Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill 2024 outlines the application, approval, licensing, and monitoring procedures while enacting regulations to safeguard patient rights and safety.

Furthermore, it capitalizes on The Bahamas’ renowned tourism brand, generating new employment and economic opportunities and positioning the country as a destination for cutting-edge regenerative research and therapies.

 “With numerous community-based health and wellness initiatives and programs implemented, The Bahamas stands at the forefront ready to bridge the gap between longevity, quality of life, and regenerative therapeutics,” Dr. Darville said.