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COVID drug Trump touted as a “cure” was developed using cells derived from aborted fetal tissue

The antibody cocktail that President Trump received for his COVID-19 infection and touted on Wednesday evening as a “cure” for the deadly virus was developed using cells derived from aborted fetal tissue, a practice the White House and anti-abortion rights groups oppose.

Last week, Mr. Trump received Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, an experimental therapeutic for coronavirus that is still undergoing testing and is not FDA approved. In a nearly five-minute video posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the president lauded its effects, calling it “the key.”

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught [the virus], I think it was a blessing in disguise,” Mr. Trump said in the video. “I caught it, I heard about this drug, I said, ‘Let me take it’ … and it was incredible the way it worked.”

But the way in which the antibody cocktail was developed is at odds with the Trump administration’s position on stem cell research. The drug’s potency was tested in a lab using HEK 293T cells, a cell line originally derived from the kidney tissue of a fetus aborted in the Netherlands in the 1970s, said a spokesperson for Regeneron in an email to CBS News on Thursday. The cells “were used in testing the antibody candidates’ ability to neutralize the virus” and helped researchers “determine the ‘best’ two antibodies, which now make up the REGN-COV2 cocktail,” the spokesperson said.  

There is no fetal tissue present in the final product.

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug Mr. Trump received, also was tested using the HEK 293T cells.

Last year, the Trump administration said it would no longer support long-standing funding for medical research by government scientists using human fetal tissue, a move that countered advice from physicians and researchers. The decision was seen as a major victory for anti-abortion rights groups.

Because the fetal cells used in developing Regeneron’s antibody cocktail were originally derived from an abortion prior to the funding ban, a White House official told CBS News on Thursday that the therapeutic wasn’t in violation of the administration’s new policy.

“The Administration’s policy on the use of human fetal tissue from elective abortions in research specifically excluded ‘already-established (as of June 5, 2019) human fetal cell lines,” the official said. “Thus, a product made using extant cell lines that existed before June 5, 2019 would not implicate the Administration’s policy.”

Anti-abortion groups, which generally oppose the use of fetal tissue in pharmaceutical research, did not raise issue with the therapeutics used and promoted by the president.

“The president was not given any medicines to treat COVID-19 that involved the destruction of human life,” wrote David Prentice, Ph.D., and Tara Sander Lee, Ph.D., of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the anti-abortion rights political group the Susan B. Anthony List, in a statement emailed to CBS News Wednesday afternoon. “No human embryonic stem cells or human fetal tissue were used to produce the treatments President Trump received – period.”

The researchers did not

PTCE Announces September ‘Faces of Pharmacy’ Winners in Recognition of American Pharmacists Month

Yearlong campaign recognizes pharmacists for their dedication, and often overlooked contributions, to transforming healthcare

In support of American Pharmacists Month in October, PTCE, a leader in continuing education for multispecialty pharmacists and pharmacy professionals, is committed to recognizing pharmacists’ contributions to health care practices and all they do for their communities through its ‘Faces of Pharmacy’ recognition program.

In this transforming health care landscape, The Faces of Pharmacy nomination opportunity celebrates pharmacists, who navigate evolving health care practices and continue to make a difference in the lives of their patients.

Continuing its year-long campaign, PTCE is proud to announce its September winners:

  • Alisa Eibling, Pharm.D., Clinical Director, PFSP Specialty Pharmacy

  • Adam King, MPH, CPhT, PR, Executive Director and founder, CompassionRx

  • Jameika Stuckey, Pharm.D., Clinical Supervisor and medication safety manager, University of Mississippi Medical Center

  • Michael Lorenzo Tinglin, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist, Premier Family Medical

“Congratulations to the four pharmacy professionals who were selected as the winners of our Faces of Pharmacy program,” said Jim Palatine, R.Ph., MBA, president of PTCE. “The number of nominations we have received for the month of September truly exemplifies the need and desire to acknowledge these healthcare professionals who make a difference in the lives of their patients. In honor of American Pharmacists Month, we are devoted to showing our appreciation for the care and commitment of pharmacy professionals in the industry, and we will continue to recognize these professionals every month with our inaugural yearlong campaign.”

Each month, PTCE will select four pharmacy professionals to feature on its website and social media platforms in recognition of their unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional care to patients.

Nominations can be submitted online by colleagues, patients, friends and family members of outstanding pharmacists, pharmacy technicians or anyone else working in the industry. Submissions should detail what the nominee has done to ensure access to treatment and care or describe how they go above and beyond to support their patients or community.

For more information about the September Faces of Pharmacy winners, click here.

About Pharmacy Times Continuing Education™

Pharmacy Times Continuing Education™ (PTCE) is a leader in continuing education for retail, health system, oncology, managed care and specialty pharmacists. PTCE is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education (CPE). PTCE’s print, online and live CPE activities are designed to help improve the knowledge, competence and skills of pharmacists so they are better prepared to provide the highest quality pharmacy care to the patients they serve and to the physicians they assist as part of a multidisciplinary treatment/management team. To learn more about the educational activities sponsored by PTCE, visit https://www.pharmacytimes.org.

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Contacts

PTCE
Alexandra Ventura, 609-716-7777
aventura@mjhlifesciences.com

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Ontario, Alberta report record-high spikes; Quebec sees 202 new school cases

On Thursday, Oct. 8, Ontario reported a record-high spike of 797 new cases of COVID-19. In addition, 100 new cases were identified in the K-12 school setting, in a 24-hour stretch in which 36 learning institutions reported their first case.

In Quebec, more than 1,000 new patients were identified for the sixth time over a seven-day stretch, as worrisome trends continue to develop in multiple regions of the province. In addition, 202 new cases were identified among students and staff.

Sixty-seven new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Manitoba, which marks the second-largest spike the province has recorded since the start of the pandemic. In addition, its active case count hit another record high of 863.

In Alberta, health officials identified 364 new cases, the most ever in a 24-hour stretch for the province. Of those patients, 276 were identified in its epicentre of Edmonton, where new voluntary restrictions have been introduced.

For more on today’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, please refer to our live updates below, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

18,297 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 173,449 diagnoses, 9,556 deaths and 145,406 recoveries (as of Oct. 8, 5:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta – 2,097 active cases (19,718 total cases, including 283 deaths, 17,338 resolved)

  • British Columbia – 1,387 active cases (9,956 total cases, 244 deaths, 8,296 resolved)

  • Manitoba – 863 active cases (2,344 total cases, 27 deaths, 1,454 resolved)

  • New Brunswick – 24 active cases (225 cases, 2 deaths, 199 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 4 active case (277 total cases, 4 deaths, 269 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories – 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia – 3 active cases (1,089 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario – 5,442 active cases (56,742 total cases, 2,992 deaths, 48,308 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island – 3 active case (61 total cases, 58 resolved)

  • Quebec – 8,492 active cases (82,992 total cases, 5,915 deaths, 68,585 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan – 143 active cases (2,012 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,845 resolved)

  • Yukon – 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut – 0 active cases (8 presumptive positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton – 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Ontario reports a record-high case spike, with 100 new patients linked to schools

Ontario reported a record-high 797 new cases of COVID-19, four deaths and 695 recoveries.

It’s the 11th straight day the province has exceeded the 500-case mark and during which Ontario broke its own record on three occasions. Before the recent stretch, the province had not reported at least 500 cases since May 2.

There are now 5,442 active cases throughout the province. The most Ontario has ever had was on April 25, when there were 5,675 infected patients province-wide.

Of the most recent 797 cases, 265 were identified in Toronto, 182 in Ottawa, 134 in Peel, 78 in York, 33 in Halton, 24 in Simcoe-Muskoka, 22 in Durham, and 11 each in Middlesex-London and Hamilton.

Gilead Sciences to sell Europe 500,000 doses of remdesivir

Oct. 8 (UPI) — Gilead Sciences announced Thursday that it’s selling 500,000 doses of remdesivir to European countries as many experience a spike in cases of COVID-19.

The company, which produces the antiviral under the name Veklury, said it reached a deal allowing the European Commission to purchase the drug for 36 countries over the next six months.

Gilead says it ramped up its production of remdesivir in recent months after studies indicated it showed shortened recovery times for some coronavirus patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took control of the distribution of the drug in May after giving it emergency approval for COVID-19 treatment.

Gilead resumed control of distribution earlier this month. The company said it’s on track to produce more than 2 million treatment courses of the drug this year.

“Supply of Veklury is expected to meet global demand by the end of this month, enabling the purchase of Veklury both to treat patients and to support national stockpiling of the medicine for current and future surges of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

Clinical results for the antiviral have been mixed. A new National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine said treatment with remdesivir shortened recovery time by five days compared to a placebo, and reduced mortality by 70% at Day 29 in patients with low-flow oxygen.

Another study in August showed the drug doesn’t improve outcomes in people hospitalized with moderate pneumonia caused by COVID-19.

Researched published last month showed that remdesivir administered in combination with baricitinib — treatment for rheumatoid arthritis — can reduce the recovery time for people with COVID-19 when compared to people treated with just the antiviral.

Originally developed to treat Ebola virus, remdesivir works by slowing the production of enzymes that play a key role in the replication of viruses, including coronaviruses, according to Gilead Sciences.

President Donald Trump received remdesivir as part of his own treatment for COVID-19.

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Justices Say Women Can Get Abortion Pill by Mail, for Now | Health News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would for now continue to allow women to obtain an abortion pill by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The action came over the dissent of two conservative justices who would have immediately granted a Trump administration request to reinstate the requirement that women must visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain a pill.

The court did little more than defer its first action on an abortion-related issue since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. The court called for a lower-court judge to take a new look at the issue and rule within 40 days. That would put any further high court action after the Nov. 3 election.

The court said in an unsigned opinion that it was holding the administration’s appeal “in abeyance.”

The administration is asking to be allowed to enforce a U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule. The administration has suspended similar in-person visits for other drugs, including opioids in some cases, but refused to relax the rules for getting the abortion pill.

A federal judge in Maryland ruled in July that, during the public health emergency declared by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, health care providers can arrange for mifepristone to be mailed or delivered to patients. The FDA has approved mifepristone to be used in combination with a second drug, misoprostol, to end an early pregnancy or manage a miscarriage.

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have granted the administration’s request. “Six weeks have passed since the application was submitted, but the Court refuses to rule,” Alito wrote.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Arlington Sees Spike In Single-Day Numbers Of Coronavirus Cases

ARLINGTON, VA — Virginia Department of Health reported 49 new cases Thursday of COVID-19, the illness associated with the new coronavirus, in the Arlington Health District. That’s the highest number of new cases confirmed in a single day in Arlington since 50 were reported on May 29.

Ryan Hudson, acting public information officer for Arlington’s Public Health Division, said in an email that the higher number was due to VDH clearing a backlog cases.

In addition, VDH noted on its website that 689 cases from across Virginia should have been reported on Wednesday, due to a surveillance system reporting issue.

“Cases are not reported on the day the patient became ill, but on the day they have been classified as meeting the case definition for COVID-19,” the website said.

The total number of confirmed cases in Arlington stands at 4,132.

Virginia health officials also reported no new deaths due to COVID-19 Thursday in Arlington. The last new death was reported on Monday. The total number of COVID-19-related deaths in the Arlington Health District is 152.

A total of 508 people have been hospitalized in Arlington due to COVID-19.

There have been 155,535 total cases statewide, according to data reported by the Virginia Department of Health. In Virginia, there have been 3,328 coronavirus-related deaths to date. There have been a total of 11,393 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

VDH reported Thursday that 60,372 COVID-19 tests have been taken in Arlington, with a 3.7 percent positivity rate. This is up from the 3.4 percent positivity rate reported on Tuesday. Statewide there have been 2,346,240 COVID-19 tests taken, with a 5.3 percent positivity rate, according to VDH.

Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus in Virginia as they happen. Sign up for free news alerts and a newsletter in your Patch town.

There have been 19 outbreaks in the Arlington Health District as of Thursday, with 573 cases related to an outbreak, with two outbreaks at a congregate setting and three outbreaks in health care settings. There have been 221 reported coronavirus cases in Arlington involving health care workers.

Globally, more than 36.2 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday morning. In the United States, more than 7.5 million people have been infected and over 212,000 people have died from COVID-19.

VDH breaks down the number of cases and deaths in Arlington by age, race and ethnicity. The breakdown by age is as follows:

Arlington residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Also see …

This article originally appeared

Dentist’s COVID-19 Coverage Suit Sent Back to State Court


By Archive



Email Daphne Zhang


href=”https://www.law360.com/#”>Daphne Zhang

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Law360 (October 8, 2020, 6:44 PM EDT) —
A Texas federal judge remanded a dentist’s COVID-19 coverage suit against Allstate Insurance Co. back to state court, ruling that the insurer failed to show that a claims adjuster was wrongly joined, defeating the suit’s diversity of jurisdiction required in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Richard B. Farrer said Wednesday that Orsatti DDS PC, a dental office of Bexar County, Texas, sufficiently showed that it properly included an insurance claims adjuster in the suit, which lacks complete diversity of citizenship to stay in the district court.

Orsatti suspended business and could operate only for dental emergencies due to government closure orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The office claimed that it lost income and filed a coverage claim to Allstate. The Illinois-based carrier then assigned commercial property adjuster Blessing Sefofo Wonyaku — a Texas citizen — to investigate the claim.

Allstate subsequently denied coverage, asserting a virus exclusion and a lack of physical damage to Orsatti’s property. In June, the dental office sued the insurer in Bexar County state court before the insurer removed the case to federal court a month later.

Orsatti alleged that the insurer and its adjuster failed to conduct a proper investigation of its claim because they never asked for any documents or information relating to its claim. The office contended that both Allstate and Wonyaku “conspired to delay and deny or underpay its claim”

Allstate had argued that Wonyaku was improperly joined because Orsatti failed to show Wonyaku engaged in any conduct separate from the coverage denial. On Wednesday, Judge Farrer said Allstate’s arguments “lack merit.”

Orsatti “has properly stated a claim against [Wonyaku] for h[er] conduct as an individual adjuster,” and has plausibly alleged that she engaged in “an outcome-oriented investigation” and “unfair settlement,” the judge said.

Judge Farrer pointed out that Orsatti had adequately alleged that Wonyaku never asked “any questions upon learning [the dental practice] had to close business” due to government closure orders but “immediately” sent over a denial letter stating no coverage.

“Had Wonyaku requested additional information, as she was obliged to do, Orsatti’s amended petition suggests that Wonyaku would’ve found the virus exclusion provision inapplicable in this context,” the judge said.

Additionally, Judge Farrer said, although Allstate argued that it was not required to investigate the claim because the policy bars coverage for virus loss and mandates coverage denial, its argument “is more properly an attack on the merits of the claim, rather than an inquiry into the propriety of the joinder of the local party,” the judge said.

Allstate failed to demonstrate that

For Kids Who Hit Puberty Early, Risk of Self-Harm Rises | Health News

By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Kids who reach puberty earlier than other kids are at an increased risk of harming themselves as teens, British researchers report.

“Our study is the first to investigate the relationship between the timing of puberty and self-harm using an objective measure of pubertal timing in boys,” said lead author Elystan Roberts, a researcher at the University of Bristol.

He said it’s important to find out why self-harm is on the rise among young people so that help can be provided to those who may be most at risk.

“We still don’t know a lot about the psychological effects of early puberty in boys because male pubertal timing is so hard to measure, so our results will be important for helping to reduce self-harm risk in boys as well as girls,” Roberts said in a university news release.

Co-author Becky Mars, from the University of Bristol’s Medical School, said biological factors such as brain development or hormone changes, or psychosocial factors such as bullying, substance use or depression may be involved.

“Once we have a better understanding of the reasons why early developers are more likely to self-harm, interventions can be designed and delivered to help reduce self-harm risk,” Mars said.

Data from more than 5,000 boys and girls showed that early puberty resulted in a higher risk for self-harm at age 16. For girls, the risk continued into adulthood.

Earlier studies have shown that those who experience earlier puberty are at greater risk of mental health problems such as depression and girls are at higher risk of self-harm. But these studies largely focused on girls or a combination of girls and boys.

The researchers looked at the time when boys and girls were growing in height the fastest — age 13.5 for boys and 11.8 for girls. They also looked at questionnaires participants filled out at age 16 and 21.

At 16, 10% of boys and 25% of girls reported harming themselves. By 21, 28% of men and 35% of women reported harming themselves.

Most of those had experienced early puberty, the researchers found. An early growth spurt was linked with a 15% increase in girls’ risk of self-harm at 16. For boys, it was linked with a 28% increase.

This might not show cause and effect, researchers noted, but they are large differences in risk.

The findings were published Oct. 6 in the journal Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn't visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent


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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

Regeneron filed for emergency authorization of its antibody COVID-19 treatment drug, just hours after President Trump claimed it basically cured him. Mitch McConnell hasn’t been to the White House in months, and a new analysis shows Americans’ job-based health care is continually getting more expensive.

We’ll start with Regeneron:

Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received

Biotech company Regeneron late Wednesday applied for emergency authorization for an experimental antibody treatment praised by President Trump.

“Subsequent to our discussions with regulatory authorities, we have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for our REGN-COV2 investigational antibody combination for COVID-19,” the company said in a news release.

The move came just hours after the president praised the efficacy of the treatment in a short video message posted on Twitter.

“They gave me Regeneron, it’s called Regeneron,” Trump said in the five-minute video Wednesday afternoon. “It was unbelievable. I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

Why it matters: Trump was taking several drugs for his illness, so it’s not clear which helped him feel better. He claimed he has the “emergency use authorization all set,” but the FDA is supposed to make decisions based on science and not demands from the president. Regeneron’s drug is still undergoing clinical trials, and while early results seem promising, the company has not released data to back up its claims.

Read more here.

McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he hasn’t visited the White House in two months because of how it has responded to the coronavirus.

Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said that while he talks to President Trump frequently, he hasn’t been to the White House in person since Aug. 6.

“Because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” he told reporters.

McConnell’s comments come in the week after President Trump and roughly two dozen people in his orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Senate doesn’t have a mask mandate, though most senators wear masks around the Capitol and there are also signs to remind people to socially distance.

Unlike the Senate, the White House has rapid testing for those in contact with the president. But there have also been several events where the White House did not require social distancing and most people at the event did not wear masks.

McConnell on Thursday appeared to take a veiled jab at the White

This Is How Much Toothpaste You Really Need

Updated 1 minute ago. Posted 1 minute ago

Why did I not know this earlier?!

Dr. Gao Jye Teh is a Malaysian-based dentist who — like a lot of people — decided to download TikTok during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year. “I found myself retaining information I learned from watching TikToks easily because it was often conveyed in short, digestible, and entertaining ways. It got me thinking, ‘What if I could spread dental awareness in this memorable way, too?’ So, I gave it a shot,” Dr. Gao told BuzzFeed.

And, he has been very successful at doing just that! In his latest TikTok — which went viral with over six million views — Dr. Gao demonstrated what the proper amount of toothpaste looks like:

So, how much do you actually need? People over three years of age only need the amount of a SINGLE PEA!


Evgenyatamanenko / Getty Images

That’s right! Although this toothpaste swish is perfection, it is FAR TOO MUCH.


Malerapaso / Getty Images

Dr. Gao said his information is backed in this document — and by the easily overlooked directions on toothpaste packaging.

“Kids under age three only need a smear of toothpaste. The ‘little’ amount is attributed to the fact that they might have trouble not swallowing the excess fluoride toothpaste,” explained Dr. Gao.

Dr. Gao emphasized that using more than the recommended amount of toothpaste is most detrimental to children whose adult teeth are still developing under their gums. “This is because fluoride, when ingested in large amounts, can cause a cosmetic condition known as dental fluorosis on the developing teeth. The cosmetic implications range from mild discoloration to yellow and brown stains to obvious pits in the teeth,” he said.

However, if too little toothpaste is used, your teeth will not benefit from the full protective properties of the fluoride. “Once you brush your teeth, you should spit out the excess and not rinse your mouth with water. This is because the fluoride in the toothpaste takes time to act on your teeth,” explained Dr. Gao.

@doctorgao

Spit… you’ll get used to it 😄 #dentist #dental #dentistry #tiktokguru #youngcreators #learnontiktok #edutok #teeth #foryou

♬ Hell 2 da Naw – Bullwinkle Boyz

Dr. Gao said when it comes to mouthwash, he recommends using one that contains fluoride at a time separate from brushing. “Doing this will increase the amount of fluoride exposure, helping with the remineralization of your teeth. There are many variations of mouthwash out there – some specialized for treating gum disease, some for dealing with dry mouths, and some that contain alcohol. Seek advice from your dentist to decide which type you are most suited for.”

We also asked Dr. Gao if all toothpastes were essentially the same or if there is a certain type he recommends. “Toothpaste is like shampoo. If you think about it as a product to clean your teeth — just as shampoo cleans your hair — then, yes, all toothpaste serves this purpose.