On July 28, Canada gave the green light for people with severe symptoms of COVID-19 to be treated with the anti-viral drug remdesivir.
The Canadian Health Ministry said, “Remdesivir is the first drug that Health Canada has authorized for the treatment of COVID-19.”
The Health Ministry said that now remdesivir can be used on COVID-19 patients who have pneumonia and need extra oxygen to help them breathe. The doses used in Canada will be made by a unit of Gilead Sciences, the US pharmaceutical company that developed the drug.
At least two major US studies have shown that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients.
Remdesivir has been used originally for the treatment for Ebola. In May, Washington authorized the emergency use of remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment, followed by several Asian nations including Japan and South Korea.
In early July, the European Commission also authorized the use of remdesivir to treat COVID-19.
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