Health Canada approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 therapeutic

This image provided by Pfizer shows the company’s Paxlovid pills. Health Canada is expected to approve the drug on Monday for use in this country. (Pfizer/The Associated Press)

(John Paul Tasker/ CBC News) –– Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 therapeutic for use in adults 18 and older, paving the way for the distribution of a potentially lifesaving drug at a time when the country’s hospitals are overwhelmed.

Pfizer’s Paxlovid, an oral antiviral prescribed by a doctor and administered in pill form, is designed to help the body fight off the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reduce symptoms from an infection and shorten the period of illness.

After months of clinical trials, Pfizer reported in November that Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by an impressive 89 per cent compared to a placebo in non-hospitalized high-risk adults with COVID-19. (…)

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