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What if pharma just charged less for drugs? Can speaking three syllables reveal whether you’re depressed? And why is Snoop Dogg selling erectile dysfunction pills on TV?

We discuss all that and more on the latest episode of “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, STAT’s Matthew Herper joins us to discuss a complicated effort from Express Scripts to reduce how much people with diabetes pay for insulin, an idea with broad implications in industry and politics alike. Then, Matt sticks around for a conversation on the controversy surrounding companies like Hims, Roman, and Keeps, which have risen to national attention by selling off-patent drugs without requiring patients to see a doctor. Then, we talk to the CEO of a startup called Sonde Health, which is analyzing voice samples to help develop a smartphone app that could be used to aid in diagnosing depression. Finally, we embark upon a lightning round, summing up the latest dustup for Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a muted meeting of oncologists, and the outgoing FDA commissioner’s seemingly endless farewell tour.

For more on what we cover, here’s the Express Scripts news; here are the New York Times and Bloomberg stories on online drug retailers; and here’s the latest on Soon-Shiong.


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 [email protected].


Interested in sponsoring a future episode of “The Readout LOUD”? Email us at [email protected].