Can pharma-shaming get someone re-elected? How rare is too rare when it comes to biotech research? And what does “positive” even mean, really?

We discuss all that and more on the latest episode of “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, we discuss some confusing new clinical data in Alzheimer’s disease that has led to controversy around a Biogen-developed treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. STAT’s Lev Facher joins us to discuss how the issue of drug pricing is shaping races across the U.S. ahead of the midterm elections. And then we explore how crowdfunded science for ultra-rare diseases has led to some inspiring stories and shined a light on a gray area in biotech research. Finally, we run through a packed week of biotech earnings, a hotly contested new depression treatment, and mounting competition in the monopolistic world of genome sequencing.

For more on what we cover, here’s the news from Biogen; here’s a report from the Missouri Senate race; here’s the latest from West Virginia; here’s the story of a one-of-a-kind treatment; and here’s a preview of the FDA’s upcoming debate on depression.

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We’ll be back next Thursday evening — and every Thursday evening — so be sure to sign up on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email readoutloud@statnews.com.

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