QUESTION TEXT: Clinician: Patients with immune system…
QUESTION TYPE: Argument Evaluation
CONCLUSION: Patients taking immune system disorder drugs should take two other drugs:
- Existing drugs that preserve bone mass.
- A new drug that enhances the growth of new bone cells.
REASONING: Drugs that treat immune system disorders also increase the risk of losing bone mass via osteoporosis.
ANALYSIS: Drugs are complicated. They can have unwanted side-effects and dangerous interactions with each other.
To evaluate this argument, we should know about the effects of the new drug and whether it will work with the existing drugs.
- It doesn’t matter how many drugs lead to risk of osteoporosis. We already know that the patients in question have an increased risk from the immune system disorder drugs they’re taking.
- People probably are given the drugs because the drugs are essential for survival. We can assume the patients in question aren’t harming themselves for no reason.
- The conclusion was that patients should take the drugs. So cost is relevant. But this is the wrong question for cost. We care whether the drugs are affordable, not how much they cost relative to another type of drug.
- This doesn’t matter. If the patients are already taking the existing drug, then presumably it’s a good idea. It’s mildly relevant to know how long it’s been in use, but this wouldn’t be the top question on my mind. We can assume that taking a drug that’s part of the standard treatment protocol isn’t a crazy, untested action.
(This answer is referring to the existing drug, not the new untested drug.)
- CORRECT. This is very relevant. If the drug is useless when taken in combination with the other drugs, then there’s not much point to taking it.
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