Prime Minister Davis lauds the Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill, 2024

Prime Minister Philip Davis KC

NASSAU, The Bahamas – During his Contribution in the House of Assembly, on July 1, 2024, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said that his Government embarked yet again on a “transformative journey” with the Longevity and Regenerative Therapies Bill, 2024.

“This legislation is poised to place The Bahamas at the forefront of global advancements in medical and wellness tourism,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “The promise of this Bill is not just in the pioneering therapies it will enable, but in the profound impact it will have on our economy, our healthcare system, and the well-being of our people.”

He added: “The primary purpose of this Bill is to establish a comprehensive and robust legal framework for the approval and regulation of longevity and regenerative therapies. These therapies include gene therapies, stem cell treatments, immunotherapies, and advanced longevity treatments. By setting clear and stringent guidelines, we aim to ensure that these advanced medical practices are conducted safely, ethically, and effectively. This framework will provide the necessary regulatory oversight to build confidence among practitioners, researchers, and patients, thereby positioning The Bahamas as a leader in this innovative field.”

Prime Minister Davis stated that his Government’s vision is to make The Bahamas a global leader in longevity and regenerative medicine.

“By creating an environment conducive to research and innovation, we aim to attract top-tier scientists, medical professionals, and institutions from around the world,” he said.  “This influx of global expertise will enhance our local medical capabilities and drive significant economic growth.”

“We envision The Bahamas becoming a premier destination for patients seeking advanced treatments to extend their healthy years and improve their quality of life,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “The economic benefits of attracting medical tourists will be substantial, providing new opportunities for our workforce and stimulating development in related sectors, such as hospitality and transport.”

He noted that the Bill underscored his Government’s commitment to embracing the future of medicine. 

“It ensures that our citizens have access to the best possible care and establishes our nation as a hub for medical and wellness tourism,” Prime Minister Davis said.  “By fostering innovation and maintaining rigorous standards, we will secure a healthier, more prosperous future for all Bahamians.”

He added:  “This Bill mandates the preparation of a comprehensive Longevity and Regenerative Therapy Policy by the Minister of Health and Wellness. This policy will serve as the cornerstone for the regulation and development of longevity and regenerative therapies within our nation. It will outline the strategic direction, goals, and operational standards for all activities related to these advanced medical treatments. The policy will ensure that our approach remains proactive, responsive, and aligned with the highest international standards.”

Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, to ensure the policy remained current and effective, it will be reviewed biennially.

“This regular review process will allow us to incorporate the latest scientific advancements, technological innovations, and emerging ethical considerations,” he stated.  “By doing so, we can maintain a dynamic and forward-thinking regulatory environment that supports continuous improvement and adaptation in this rapidly evolving field.”

Prime Minister Davis added that central to the implementation of that policy was the establishment of the National Longevity and Regenerative Therapy Board.

“This Board will be comprised of experts in the fields of medicine, science, ethics, and law, all appointed based on their qualifications and experience,” he said.  “Their primary responsibilities will include overseeing the approval and regulation of therapies, ensuring compliance with established standards, and fostering an environment conducive to medical innovation and excellence.”

“In addition to the Board, the Ethics Review Committee will play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and ethical standards of all related activities,” Prime Minister Davis added.  “This Committee will be responsible for reviewing and approving research proposals, ensuring that all therapies are administered safely and ethically, and that patient rights and welfare are always prioritized. The Committee will also monitor ongoing research and treatments to ensure they adhere to both national and international ethical guidelines and standards.”

Prime Minister Davis stated that, together, the National Longevity and Regenerative Therapy Board and the Ethics Review Committee will provide “rigorous” oversight and adherence to best practices.

“Their collaborative efforts will ensure that all activities in this field are conducted with the highest levels of professionalism, safety, and ethical integrity,” he said.  “This framework will not only protect and benefit our citizens but also enhance the reputation of The Bahamas as a leading destination for cutting-edge medical treatments and research.”

“By establishing a robust policy and framework, we are laying the foundation for a sustainable and innovative future in longevity and regenerative medicine,” he added.  “This will enable us to attract top-tier researchers, medical professionals, and institutions, drive economic growth, and most importantly, improve the health and well-being of our people.”     (BIS Photos/Ulric Woodside)