Canada buying up to 1.5 million courses of oral antiviral drugs to fight COVID-19

pharmacy

Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi says Canada has signed agreements to buy up 1.5 million courses of oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19.   

The government has signed up for an initial one million courses of antiviral treatment, once Health Canada endorses their safety and efficacy.    

Pfizer submitted a request for Health Canada approval earlier this week.   

Canada has also purchased 500,000 courses of Merck's oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19, with the option to purchase another 500,000 once Health Canada approves the drug.   

The drugs are designed to block the enzyme essential for viral replication.  

Merck's clinical trial showed a 50 per cent reduced risk of hospitalization or death compared to placebo patients with mild or moderate COVID-19.