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The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented

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Re: The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2018, 11:23
SajjadAhmad wrote:

Premises:

New drugs not being introduced in the market because no trials are being conducted for their effectiveness.
these drugs will be used in future for upcoming generations

Conclusion

Practicing doctors are responsible for absence of introduction of new verified medicine as they fail to persuade or encourage peoples to volunteer for trials of medicine to confirm their authenticity and effectiveness.

Prethinking

Issue with the conclusion is that why doctors are responsible? there may be a lot of other factors that leads people not to volunteer for the trials.




Thanks for the explanation SajjadAhmad.
I took the same premise but went about the conclusion in a different way.My reason for selecting A - it gave a "alternate cause" for suitable patients to not volunteer for clinical trials.So it was not based on - Practicing doctors being responsible for absence of patients .Instead the reason was that drug is experimental and had absence of any treatment .
As you have stated in prethinking:
Issue with the conclusion is that why doctors are responsible? there may be a lot of other factors that leads people not to volunteer for the trials.
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New post 29 Jun 2019, 02:40
Hi All/Experts,

I think A, and B goes towards strengthening the argument. Please find my reasoning below and help me evaluate whether my evaluation of the question is correct :
Conclusion: Physicians are morally wrong when they fail to encourage patients with currently untreatable disease to go for experimental trials.
Analysis of the argument: The definition of morality is contextual. The author thinks the physicians are morally wrong because they are not inspiring people to go for tests and jeopardizing their lives + the lives of future generations. But what if the definition of morality is that not encouraging people for experimental tests, that could be detrimental for them? Then the argument is weakened.
A. This option strengthens the belief of author because the intent of the tests is to treat untreatable diseases. It's a mild strengthener
B. This option seems to a bit to strengthen the conclusion. The option says that everyone has moral obligation to alleviate suffering when able to do so. Saying this, it reiterates the reasoning that they fail to encourage people because everyone includes physicians and even they have moral obligation they fail to encourage and thus the argument is bolstered. -> Is this reasoning correct?
C. This option has no impact on the passage. It just says that there is a possibility that people who go for trials might not be treated, but the reasoning of morally correct or wrong by the physicians is untouched by this option. This option is out of scope of the argument.
D. This option says that the tests are necessary for getting experimental drugs for patients in question. But this option tells something that will be achieved AFTER the tests, so this option also bears no impact on the argument
E seems to weaken.

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New post 15 Aug 2019, 01:51
The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented by a shortage of human subjects for the clinical trials needed to show that the drugs are safe and effective. Since the lives and health of people in future generations may depend on treatments that are currently experimental, practicing physicians are morally in the wrong when, in the absence of any treatment proven to be effective, they fail to encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials.

Which of the following, if true, casts most doubt on the conclusion of the argument?

Pre thinking
The author reasoning links the fact that lives/health of future generations depend on current experimental treatments with ethic, moral.
Basically the doctors are morally wrong when not gathering patients for treatments since this could affect badly future generations.
What's worth here is to reason on the meaning of morally wrong/right. We can infer that clinical trials involve risks such as diseases, death.....
So Is sacrificing fewer lives now, in order to test a treatment, worth if this leads to save more life afterwards?


The argument does not state this clearly so if an answer choice suggests that this behavior is not morally right then we hav our weakener.


(A) Many drugs undergoing clinical trials are intended for the treatment of conditions for which there is currently no effective treatment.
So it makes sense to get more patients for clinical trials. This in someway strengthens the conclusion. Hence incorrect

(B) Patients do not share the physician’s professional concern for public health, but everyone has a moral obligation to alleviate suffering when able to do so.
Moral obligations of other people are not concerned here. Hence incorrect


(C) Usually, half the patients in a clinical trial serve as a control group and receive a nonactive drug in place of the drug being tested.
This suggests that some patients are not at risk during clinical trials. Since this does not affect the argument clearly it is incorrect

(D) An experimental drug cannot legally be made available to patients unless those patients are subjects in clinical trials of the drug.
This would suggest that ill people might volunteer or be used in clinical trials but again this choice does not impact physicians' morality. Henc incorrect

(E) Physicians have an overriding moral and legal duty to care for the health and safety of their current patients.
This choice suggests that what is morally right for doctors is to care for their current patients. Hence they are not morally wrong if they don't encourage people to volunteer in risky clinical trials. Hence correct

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The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2019, 01:31
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Dear AjiteshArun VeritasKarishma,

To arrive at choice E., do I have to assume that the risks from clinical trials outweigh the potential HEALTH benefits?

The participation in the trial could benefit current patients as well. Hence, all the more reasons to encourage current patients to participate. Thus, choice E. could also strengthen the argument!

Thank you in advance!
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New post 14 Oct 2019, 20:14
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varotkorn wrote:
Dear AjiteshArun VeritasKarishma,

To arrive at choice E., do I have to assume that the risks from clinical trials outweigh the potential HEALTH benefits?

The participation in the trial could benefit current patients as well. Hence, all the more reasons to encourage current patients to participate. Thus, choice E. could also strengthen the argument!

Thank you in advance!
Hi varotkorn,

First, we should look at a basic assumption that you might have made here: when you look at this argument, do you get the impression that physicians never encourage "current" patients to volunteer for clinical trials?

Look at the conclusion again:
practicing physicians are morally in the wrong when, in the absence of any treatment proven to be effective, they fail to encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials

This statement does not say that physicians never encourage "current" patients to volunteer for clinical trials. Instead, the impression that we get is that whenever, and this could mean in 10% of all cases or in 90% of all cases, a physician fails to encourage a patient to volunteer for clinical trials, he or she is morally in the wrong. Here is a slightly more direct, but less precise way of looking at this: if , "in the absence of any treatment proven to be effective", physicians encourage x% of all patients who cannot be helped by any currently available medicine to sign up for clinical trials, the argument wants that x% to go to 100%.

The correct option points out that physicians have "an overriding moral and legal duty to care for the health and safety of their current patients". This weakens the conclusion that it is always morally incorrect for physicians to not encourage current patients to volunteer for clinical trials.
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Re: The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Oct 2019, 21:28
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sairam595 wrote:
GMAT® Official Guide 2017

Practice Question
Question No.: CR 629
Page: 534

The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented by a shortage of human subjects for the clinical trials needed to show that the drugs are safe and effective. Since the lives and health of people in future generations may depend on treatments that are currently experimental, practicing physicians are morally in the wrong when, in the absence of any treatment proven to be effective, they fail to encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials.

Which of the following, if true, casts most doubt on the conclusion of the argument?

(A) Many drugs undergoing clinical trials are intended for the treatment of conditions for which there is currently no effective treatment.

(B) Patients do not share the physician’s professional concern for public health, but everyone has a moral obligation to alleviate suffering when able to do so.

(C) Usually, half the patients in a clinical trial serve as a control group and receive a nonactive drug in place of the drug being tested.

(D) An experimental drug cannot legally be made available to patients unless those patients are subjects in clinical trials of the drug.

(E) Physicians have an overriding moral and legal duty to care for the health and safety of their current patients.

Clinical Trials

Step 1: Identify the Question

The wording casts doubt on in the question stem indicates that this is a Weaken the Argument question.

Step 2: Deconstruct the Argument

Too few human subjs for clinical trials → new drugs can’t go to market

New drugs needed for future gens.

© Drs don’t encourage trial subjs (if no other treatment) → morally wrong

Step 3: Pause and State the Goal

In a Weaken problem, the right answer will make the conclusion less likely to be true. In this argument, the conclusion is that doctors are morally in the wrong if they do not encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials. This conclusion can be rephrased to state that doctors have a moral obligation to encourage patients to volunteer for trials. The right answer will suggest that this is not the case—that doctors are not morally obligated to encourage patients to volunteer. The right answer will most likely accomplish this by showing that there are negative consequences to encouraging patients to volunteer, and that these might outweigh the moral imperative.

Step 4: Work from Wrong to Right

(A) According to the conclusion, physicians are only morally required to recommend trial participation if there is no other effective treatment. This answer choice suggests that this will be the case for many patients. However, knowing that a doctor might be able to recommend trial participation to many patients doesn’t clarify whether that doctor is morally obligated to do so.

(B) The answer choice states that everyone is morally obligated to alleviate suffering. This actually strengthens the conclusion, since if everyone is obligated to alleviate suffering, doctors should be no exception.

(C) This is a tempting answer choice because it relates to real-world concerns surrounding clinical trials. If a patient receives the control drug, he or she might not receive any benefit from participating in the trial. However, the argument specifically claims that physicians should recommend trial participation because of the benefit to future generations, not because of potential benefit to the trial patients themselves. Even though personal benefit is a concern to the patients, since the argument only deals with benefit for others, information about personal benefit does not affect the conclusion.

(D) This answer choice suggests that enrolling patients in a clinical trial is sometimes the only way for those patients to acquire necessary medication. However, the argument specifically claims that physicians should recommend trial participation because of the benefit to future generations, not because of potential benefit to the trial patients themselves. Even though personal benefit is a concern to the patients, since the argument only deals with benefit for others, information about personal benefit does not affect the conclusion. Even if the conclusion dealt with personal benefit, this answer choice would strengthen it, rather than weakening it, because it would suggest that doctors should encourage their sick patients to enroll in trials.

(E) CORRECT. The argument states that the purpose of clinical trials is to show that the drugs are safe and effective. Thus, if a drug is being tested in a clinical trial, it is not definitively known whether it is safe and/or effective. Taking these drugs, therefore, involves accepting at least some risk to health or safety.

The answer choice states that physicians have an overriding responsibility to care for the health and safety of their current patients. That is, the health and safety of their current patients takes precedence over moral imperatives that only relate to future generations. It follows that a doctor should not necessarily encourage a current patient to participate in a clinical trial solely for the benefit of future patients, since participation might cause some risk to the current patient, and that is more important than the health of future patients.

Argument Evaluation

Situation A shortage of human subjects for clinical trials needed to show that new drugs are safe and effective often prevents those drugs from being introduced into the market. The lives and health of future generations may depend on treatments that are now experimental.

Reasoning What would cast doubt on the judgment that doctors are morally obligated to encourage their patients to volunteer for clinical trials? Note that the argument's conclusion, unlike its premises, is a moral judgment. This judgment could be cast into doubt by a moral principle that would be likely to conflict with it under the conditions described. For example, a principle suggesting that it is sometimes morally unacceptable for doctors to encourage their patients to volunteer for clinical trials would also suggest that they are not morally obligated to encourage their patients to volunteer for clinical trials, since anything morally obligatory must also be morally acceptable.

(A) If anything, this highlights how important it is to ensure that these drugs undergo clinical trials to benefit future generations, so it supports rather than casts doubt on the argument's conclusion.

(B) This suggests that patients are morally obligated to volunteer for clinical trials to help prevent suffering in future generations. If anything, this supports the claim that doctors are morally obligated to encourage their patients to volunteer.

(C) The clinical trial will probably not harm any patients in the control group, yet their participation will benefit future generations. So, if anything, this supports the claim that doctors should encourage their patients to volunteer.

(D) This legal barrier makes it even more essential for the drugs to undergo clinical trials in order to benefit patients, so it supports rather than casts doubt on the argument's conclusion.

(E) Correct. Since the experimental drugs' safety is being tested during the trials, the drugs may prove unsafe for subjects in the trials. If doctors have an overriding moral duty to keep their current patients safe, then it may be morally unacceptable for them to encourage those patients to volunteer for the trials.


The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented by a shortage of human subjects for the clinical trials needed to show that the drugs are safe and effective.
Lives and health of people in future generations may depend on these new drugs

Conclusion: Practicing physicians are morally in the wrong when, in the absence of any treatment proven to be effective, they fail to encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials.

The argument says that new drugs do not find enough human subjects for effectiveness and safety tests. This puts future generations at risk. So doctors should encourage suitable patients to volunteer for clinical trials. Here is the problem - these new drugs need to be tested for safety. When doctors encourage their patients to volunteer for trials, they are putting their patients at risk. For new drugs, it is not known whether their benefits outweigh risks or risks outweigh benefits. Since their safety has not been established, the patients are at risk. The point is - would you risk current generation for the benefit of future generation?

Let's look at the options to find which one weakens the argument.

(A) Many drugs undergoing clinical trials are intended for the treatment of conditions for which there is currently no effective treatment.

If anything, this helps our argument. These new drugs are needed since currently there is no effective treatment for these conditions.

(B) Patients do not share the physician’s professional concern for public health, but everyone has a moral obligation to alleviate suffering when able to do so.

Again, this preaches to the current patients to undergo new drug trials.

(C) Usually, half the patients in a clinical trial serve as a control group and receive a nonactive drug in place of the drug being tested.

Irrelevant how the actual trials take place. Half the patients are still put at risk.

(D) An experimental drug cannot legally be made available to patients unless those patients are subjects in clinical trials of the drug.

If anything, it helps our argument that patients should undergo clinical trials if they want the new drugs. They cannot obtain the new drugs without undergoing clinical trials.

(E) Physicians have an overriding moral and legal duty to care for the health and safety of their current patients.

Correct. This weakens our argument that physicians should encourage their patients to undergo drug trials. Physicians have a duty to care for current patients so they cannot put their current patients health at risk but encouraging them to try untested drugs.

Answer (E)
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Re: The introduction of new drugs into the market is frequently prevented   [#permalink] 14 Oct 2019, 21:28

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