Canada Receives First-Ever COVID-19 Treatment
The drug has also been distributed to the U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
Health Canada officially announced earlier this week that it has authorized the distribution of a drug that helps treat COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. Dubbed remdesivir, the treatment was originally formulated to help treat Ebola.
According to CTV News, the drug “has also been granted emergency or conditional authorization in the United States, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia.” Infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Barrett of Dalhousie University in Halifax said:
“This is a medication that works to inhibit the virus itself; many of the other therapeutics we’ve seen used or attempted for use in the treatment of COVID related disease have been around the immune system. However, this one is designed to directly inhibit the virus itself, and has been used or tested for use in other viral infections previously.”
Canadians aged 12 years and above with severe symptoms, such as pneumonia, and weigh at least 40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds) are eligible to take remdesivir. Health Canada has “completed an expedited six-week review of remdesivir and determined that the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks when used against symptoms of COVID-19.” The government department has stated that the treatment will only be used in healthcare facilities and can only be given through an IV.
The current supply is limited but the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is working on requesting more stock from the drug company. Stay tuned while we wait for further updates.
- Ctv News