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Is your local lawmaker flush with pharma cash? How does racism in medicine loom over Covid-19 studies? And who decides when a clinical trial goes on pause?

We discuss all that and more this week on “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, we discuss two high-profile pauses to Covid-19 clinical trials from Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson and explain why experts say they offer more good news than bad. Then, STAT Washington correspondent Lev Facher calls in to talk about his first-of-its-kind analysis of the drug industry’s spending to influence policy at the state level. Finally, our STAT colleague Nicholas St. Fleur joins us to tell the story of two Black university leaders who urged their campuses to join a Covid-19 vaccine trial — and the backlash that ensued.

For more on what we cover, here’s the latest paused study; here’s the analysis of pharma’s statehouse spending; here’s the story on HBCUs and clinical trials; and here’s STAT’s complete coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

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We’ll be back next Thursday evening — and every Thursday evening — so be sure to sign up on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle 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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