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Canada News Release: Government of Canada signs agreements for COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments

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FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA NEWSROOM:

December 3, 2021 – Gatineau, Quebec – Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of everyone in Canada from COVID-19. This includes securing effective treatments as they become available.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced that the Government of Canada has signed agreements with Merck and Pfizer for access to their COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments.

The agreement with Merck provides Canada with 500,000 courses of its COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, molnupiravir, with options for up to 500,000 more, pending Health Canada authorization.

The agreement with Pfizer provides Canada with an initial quantity of 1 million courses of its COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment, pending Health Canada authorization. Pfizer submitted a rolling submission for authorization to Health Canada earlier this week.  

Health Canada is prioritizing the review of all COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. Deliveries of these treatments are expected to start following Health Canada authorization of the treatments.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect public health from COVID-19. However, effective, easy‑to‑use and accessible treatments, such as the ones produced by Merck and Pfizer, will be critical to reducing the severity of COVID-19 illness and will help save lives.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada continues to pursue an aggressive strategy to ensure that Canadians are protected from COVID-19. I am pleased to announce these new agreements with Merck and Pfizer, which will help to save lives by providing Canadians with access to oral antiviral treatments for COVID‑19.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement 

“While vaccination is central to fighting COVID-19 in Canada, providing everyone in Canada with access to potential treatments remains vitally important. If the treatments are authorized, the agreements announced today will contribute to our country’s public health response to the pandemic.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Quick facts

  • Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada are working together to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and related supplies.
  • Health Canada has received the applications from Merck and Pfizer for authorization under the interim order for COVID-19 drugs. Both treatments are under review by Health Canada.

Associated links

Contacts

Alison Murphy
Office of the Honourable Filomena Tassi
819-997-5421
[email protected]

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada
819-420-5501
[email protected]



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