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Canada has announced its authorisation for using the drug remdesivir for treating patients suffering severe symptoms of Covid-19 who have pneumonia and require extra oxygen to help them breathe.

Remdesivir is the first drug that Canada has authorised for the treatment of Covid-19, according to a press release on Tuesday from Health Canada, Xinhua reported.

The drug, manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., is authorised for use in adults and adolescents with a bodyweight of at least 40 kg. The authorization includes a full six-week scientific review.

Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. did not seek authorisation for an indication for use of remdesivir to treat children or pregnant women, Health Canada said.

Remdesivir is administered intravenously and will be used only in healthcare facilities where patients can be closely monitored.

As part of the conditional authorization, Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc. will submit to Health Canada drug safety monitoring reports, including reports on all serious adverse drug reactions.

Health Canada will continue to closely monitor the safety of remdesivir in Canada and will take prompt action should any safety concerns arise, according to the press release.

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