QUESTION TYPE: Most Strongly Supported
- The government won’t pay for Antinfia unless there are trials.
- The maker of Antinfia won’t run trials unless the government pays for the drug.
ANALYSIS: I simplified the facts slightly to make the catch-22 more obvious. The government won’t pay without trials, and trials won’t happen without payment. So basically, this drug isn’t going to get to market. It will never undergo trials, it will never get paid for, and it will never be in widespread circulation.
Note: Catch-22 is a word that entered the English language due to Joseph Heller’s novel of the same name. The main character flew on a bomber in WWII. He wanted to be declared insane so he wouldn’t have to fly. But his desire to avoid flying was the proof that he was sane.
So if he wanted to fly, he would be insane, but would have to fly. If he didn’t want to fly, he would be sane, therefore he must fly. There was no way out. Exactly the same situation with Antinfia.
- Hard to say. We know the government won’t pay for Antinfia, but maybe there are other drugs it will pay for without trials.
- CORRECT. This is likely. Widespread circulation will only happen with government support. But government support won’t happen without trials, which require widespread circulation. So Antinfia is stuck and will never get to market. (Technically, a rich person could fund trials, but that’s ok, since this is just a “most strongly supported” question. So it’s possible but very unlikely Antinfia will get to market.)
- We have no idea what patients will do. Maybe Antinfia costs too much money even for rich people to buy it.
- We don’t know this. Antinfia is unproven, so it’s unclear why the government ought to pay.
- We don’t know. The stimulus never said how much Antinfia costs. It’s possible the government requires trials before funding even cheap drugs.
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