Shipment term

First shipment of Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill en route to Alberta

The first pills of Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral drug could arrive in Alberta by the end of the week, officials say.

A spokesperson for Alberta Health told CTV News Edmonton the department is working with the federal government to confirm a timeline.

“We hope to receive a first shipment by the end of this week,” Chastity Anderson wrote in an email.

The drug was the first oral and home prescription medication to be authorized in Canada on Monday, with Health Canada’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Supriya Sharma, commenting: “No drug, including Paxloid, replaces vaccination .

The first 30,400 courses of treatment – ​​out of a million insured by Canada – landed in the country over the weekend. Ottawa said it would distribute the drugs throughout the week.

Anderson did not specify how many salaries Alberta would receive.

SHIPPING TO LOCAL PHARMACIES

Although supply is limited both domestically and globally, provinces have been asked to prioritize Paxlovid:

People most at risk of severe disease, including those who are immunocompromised, regardless of their vaccination status;

People over 80 whose vaccinations are not up to date; and

Canadians aged 60 or older who live in underserved rural or remote communities, long-term care homes, belong to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, or whose vaccines are not up to date. day.

According to Anderson, Alberta’s first doses will be distributed to a “small number of community pharmacies.”

“We are reviewing Health Canada guidelines and working with clinicians to determine eligibility criteria. We want to ensure that the drug will go to those who will benefit the most, especially at the beginning when supply is limited,” said she added.

Although Dr. Alain Tremblay of the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine considers Paxlovid the first “truly effective oral therapy for outpatients with COVID,” he said the drug’s limited initial supply will limit its wider impact.

“I can guarantee it won’t be enough to treat everyone who might be eligible, so there are going to be decisions to be made on how to make sure the right people, that it’s fair,” he said. he commented.

Health Canada has ruled that the pill can be given to adults aged 18 and older to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 if they have a confirmed positive test and are at high risk of becoming seriously ill.

The authorization also comes with specific instructions on scenarios in which the diet cannot be used, including to prevent COVID-19 infections or to treat patients already hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19.

Paxlovid cannot be taken for more than five consecutive days.

With files from CTV News Calgary and CTVNews.ca