First COVID-19 drug approved in Canada

Health Canada has approved the use of remdesivir, a drug intended to treat patients with severe disease from the novel coronavirus, with conditions.

It is the first drug of its kind to receive the green light from the competent authorities in the country.

This antiviral is authorized for the treatment of patients who have severe symptoms of COVID-19 and pneumonia and who need additional oxygen to help them breathe , Health Canada said in a statement.

These patients must be over 12 years of age and weigh at least 40 kg.

Remdesivir is administered intravenously and will only be used in care facilities where patients can be closely monitored , the same statement said.

The federal agency requires, as a condition of its use, that the manufacturer, Gilead Sciences Canada, always ensure its safety, effectiveness and quality .

Health Canada says it will continue to closely monitor the safety of remdesivir in Canada and will respond quickly to any safety concerns .

The European Commission also authorized the conditional marketing of remdesivir in early July .

The treatment, originally developed to treat Ebola hemorrhagic fever, had previously been approved by other countries, such as the United States and Japan.

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