Many potential drugs and treatments for use against COVID-19 are being evaluated in Canada and around the world. Several different types of treatments have been developed. You can search the complete list of applications received for COVID-19-related drugs and vaccines to find out their status.
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About treatments for COVID-19
Several different types of treatments for COVID-19 have been developed. Examples include drugs that reduce or stop the virus from multiplying in human cells and drugs that treat the symptoms of COVID-19.
In Canada, Health Canada has approved the following treatments:
- Remdesivir (Veklury)
- Casirivimab and imdevimab
- Nirmatrelvir and ritonavir (Paxlovid)
What authorization of a treatment means
Health Canada only authorizes treatments, including those for COVID-19, following a thorough scientific review of the safety, efficacy and quality data. A treatment must show evidence that it works well, is of high quality and is safe. The available data must demonstrate that the treatment’s benefits outweigh its risks.
The authorization may come with terms and conditions the sponsor needs to meet. These terms and conditions ensure the continued quality, safety and effectiveness of authorized products.
As a result, the manufacturer may need to submit more information such as:
- post-market safety monitoring reports, including serious adverse drug reactions, and foreign regulatory actions related to the treatment’s safety
- any further data on the safety and efficacy of the treatment, including final data from ongoing clinical trials
- further quality data confirming that the manufacturing processes and controls will consistently produce a product of suitable quality for the intended use (or ‘products’)
Companies are also required to submit a risk management plan (RMP) to Health Canada when applying for authorization.
RMPs include information on:
- a treatment’s safety profile
- how its risks will be prevented or minimized in patients
- plans for studies and other activities to gain more knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of the treatment
- monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of measures that minimize risk
As for all treatments, Health Canada will continue to actively monitor and review all relevant data to determine if changes to the authorization of COVID-19 treatments in Canada are required. We will take prompt action should any safety concerns arise.
Health Canada will provide updates on post-market activities for each COVID-19 authorized treatment in their respective Post-Authorization Activity Table (PAAT). This table is found in the COVID-19 vaccines and treatments regulatory portal.
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