MISSISSAUGA, ON – December 1, 2022 - Hoffmann-La Roche Limited (Roche Canada) announced today that it has signed agreements with the Government of Canada to supply 15,000 treatment courses of ACTEMRA ® IV (tocilizumab for injection) for adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 

“Actemra has become a standard of care for moderate to severe COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, and this agreement allows for a stable supply of essential medications for the management of COVID-19,” said Dr. Zain Chagla, Infectious Diseases Physician and Associate Professor at McMaster University.

It is estimated that for every 1000 adults in hospital with COVID-19, 429 would be eligible for tocilizumab; treating them all may prevent 17 deaths and 12 instances of invasive mechanical ventilation.1 As demonstrated in the RECOVERY trial, the median time to hospital discharge was 19 days in the tocilizumab + usual care arm and >28 days in the usual care arm.2

Health Canada authorized ACTEMRA on October 13, 2022 for the treatment of hospitalized adult patients with COVID-19 who are receiving systemic corticosteroids, and require supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.3 The recommended dose of ACTEMRA for the treatment of adult patients with COVID-19 is a single intravenous infusion of 8 mg/kg administered over 60 minutes. Doses exceeding 800 mg per infusion are not recommended in patients with COVID-19.4

Based on the agreement to procure supply of ACTEMRA, the Government of Canada works with provincial and territorial partners to allocate the supply equitably across jurisdictions. Provinces and territories will continue to determine how best to manage the supply within their jurisdictions.

Patients and science are at the heart of everything we do. At Roche, our passion for science and our commitment to relentlessly pursuing the impossible for patients has made us one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, in vitro diagnostics, and healthcare technology companies. And we’re adding our expertise in new areas, such as artificial intelligence, real world data collection and analysis and collaborating with many different sectors and industries.

We're an innovator across major disease areas, including oncology, infectious diseases, diabetes, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous system.

Roche Canada was founded in 1931 and employs more than 1,800 people across the country through its Pharmaceuticals division in Mississauga, Ontario as well as its Diagnostics and Diabetes Care divisions in Laval, Quebec.

For more information, please visitor follow Roche Canada on LinkedIn, or on Twitter

For further information:


  1. Verma, A, et. al. Managing drug shortages during a pandemic: tocilizumab and COVID-19. Available from: 

  2. ACTEMRA Product Monograph, October 13, 2022.

  3. ACTEMRA Product Monograph, October 13, 2022.

  4. ACTEMRA Product Monograph, October 13, 2022.

This website contains information on products which is targeted to a wide range of audiences and could contain product details or information otherwise not accessible or valid in your country. Please be aware that we do not take any responsibility for accessing such information which may not comply with any legal process, regulation, registration or usage in the country of your origin.

You are now leaving the website of Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. ("Roche Canada"). Links to all external sites are provided as a resource to our visitors. Roche Canada assumes no responsibility for the content of these sites. Roche Canada has no control over these sites and the opinions, claims or comments contained in these sites should not be attributed to Roche Canada, unless otherwise specified.