Canada establishes Critical Drug Reserve to bolster Canada’s supply of drugs used to treat COVID-19

From: Health Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented demand in Canada and around the world for key drugs used in the treatment of patients critically ill with COVID-19, and the Government is committed to working with its partners to provide Canadians with access to the drugs and treatments they need.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced the establishment of a Critical Drug Reserve, an additional safety net of key drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms.

Canada is procuring an initial 3-month supply of 12 drugs. The reserve targets the drugs that hospitals rely on most to treat patients who are critically ill with COVID-19, and are at risk of shortage. In selecting which drugs to procure, the Department looked at Canada’s experience with COVID-19 to date, as well as advice from the provinces and territories and critical care health experts.

Health Canada established the reserve with provinces and territories and other partners. The Critical Drug Reserve complements other federal, provincial and territorial drug shortage management efforts, and functions as a safety net by augmenting the supply of key drugs used in treating patients with COVID-19 in Canada.

The Government remains a steadfast partner to provinces and territories in its efforts to help ensure Canadians have the medications they need.


“Preventing and managing drug shortages takes a concerted effort between federal, provincial, and territorial governments and the supply chain. The Critical Drug Reserve complements these efforts by providing a safety net of increased supply of key drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu

Minister of Health

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