OTTAWA: Canada's study into whether to approve Merck & Co Inc's MRK.N COVID-19 oral antiviral treatment "is moving more slowly", federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said on Monday.

"There are some specific issues for this medication," Duclos told reporters after Ottawa approved an oral antiviral treatment by Pfizer Inc PFE.N , but did not give details. In its pivotal clinical trial, Merck's pill had less impressive results than the one produced by Pfizer.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren) ((; +1 647 480 7891;))