FILE - In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

Health Canada approves remdesivir for treatment of severe COVID-19

First drug authorized by the agency to treat the virus

Health Canada has authorized the use of drug remdesivir to treat severe symptoms of COVID-19, the agency said Tuesday (July 28).

The antiviral drug, manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., is the first treatment authorized for patients with serious symptoms of the virus in Canada. The drug is currently only approved for use in adults and teens aged 12 and up with a weight of at least 40 kilograms. It is not authorized for use in children or pregnant women, and is administered intravenously to treat patients with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen.

Canada is not the first to approve the use of remdesivir for COVID-19; the drug has been approved for use in U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia. So far, the agency said a “small number” of patients are being treated with the drug under the Special Access Program, which will not be required for new patients going forward.

Health Canada said it completed an expedited six-week review to determine the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks when it comes to COVID-19. Two existing clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir. According to the European Medicines Agency, the most common side effect in healthy volunteers are increased blood levels of liver enzymes, and nausea in COVID-19 patients.

ALSO READ: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

ALSO READ: B.C. records 81 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. in three days


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Need a doctor in Sooke? You may be in luck

In anticipation of recruiting more doctors, medical clinic accepting applications for a waitlist

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Suspect in custody after early morning break and enter at downtown Victoria business

Woman located leaving Johnson Street with stolen merchandise, police say

Two 15-year-olds arrested for mischief after windows broken at Colwood elementary school

Police arrest one suspect but were called back to the school for a second

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Most Read