TORONTO (AP) _ Nearly a year after Viagra was authorized for use in the United States, Canadian health officials have approved the anti-impotence drug, its manufacturer said Tuesday.

``Today's the day,'' spokesman Don Sancton of Pfizer Canada said, referring to the long-awaited go-ahead from the federal health department.

Since Pfizer Inc. launched Viagra in the United States in March 1998, more than 50 countries have approved use of the little blue pill.

In Canada, however, the health department review moved slowly, prompting thousands of men to purchase Viagra over the Internet or to drive across the border to get it at U.S. pharmacies.

Sancton said Pfizer Canada expected to make an announcement soon on prices, packaging and availability of the drug in Canada.