Health Canada approve Covid treatment drug British Columbia rejected


Sarah Peddie

Health Canada has approved a Covid-19 treatment drug which was rejected by the Canadian province of British Columbia. 

They have approved an antibody drug called bamlanivimab which was engineered by a Vancouver biotech company which aims to treat the virus.

However, this is not being used in British Columbia as they rejected the use of the drug. 

The drug was given emergency approval as a treatment for coronavirus in the US and Canada back in November 2020. 

It is administered using a three-hour intravenous infusion and is aimed at people who are at risk developing severe Covid-19 symptoms and getting respirated. 

What is an intravenous infusion?

An intravenous infusion is the administration of fluids into a vein by a steel needle or plastic catheter.

The British Columbia Ministry of Health rejected the use of the drug in their province due to the lack of safety data and capacity for blood infusions to allow use of bamlanivimab.

B.C. Ministry of Health spokesperson Devon Smith said: “Bamlanivimab has little published evidence of clinical benefit and very limited safety data.

“The required resources to administer outpatient infusions for individuals with confirmed COVID-19 at the peak of their infectivity, while being able to monitor and manage infusion reactions, is not presently available.

“Concentrating COVID-19 patients at established Emergency Departments or medical day units to receive infusions is not advised. Should further evidence become available that more strongly supports clinical benefit, the role of bamlanivimab will be reassessed.”

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