Find the Argument
Find supporting evidence in the text, this is needed before we analyse our possible answers.
Eliminate easy options
These will be the answers that are opposite to what you want (ex. Strengthen instead of weakening)
Determine which answer strengthens or weakens the argument THE MOST
First, let’s identify the argument. The passage talks about how drug companies are soon to be required to release more transparent information about their products to the general public. The author concludes that, since drug companies do not want imitators or their competition to know this information, they will stop introducing new and important drugs. Now that we know this, what can we say that will prove that this new policy will actually NOT deter these companies from releasing new and important drugs? This is what will most weaken the argument.
A There are sufficient drugs already on the market and so there is no necessity to introduce new ones.
This gives more reason for the companies to stop producing new and important drugs. This statement also is not really related to the passage, it is not tied in with the law change. We are trying to find a reason that will prove that they will continue to produce new drugs, therefore this statement is incorrect.
B The drug industry is a very competitive business and secrecy is vital if companies are to survive.
This is more of an assumption. From the author saying that these drug companies are fearful of imitators and that they are reluctant to release information to their competitors, we can infer that the drug industry is a very competitive business and secrecy is important. Regardless, this does not weaken the argument but rather strengthens it. If this statement was true then the drug companies would be less likely to introduce new and important drugs for fear of imitators, so this strengthens the author’s argument. Therefore B is incorrect.
C People may be reluctant to use certain drugs when they have fuller information about them.
The main argument here is on whether or not drug companies will want to continue to release new and important drugs, even after this new information is released. Therefore this option is not relevant because it does not show us how the drug companies are reacting. It does not strengthen or weaken the argument because there is no mention of the resulting effect on the drug company. Therefore C is incorrect.
D People are better informed about the side effects of drugs abroad than they are in this country.
This is another relevant option. It is trying to confuse you with the final statement taking about releasing “drugs into the country”. This does not strengthen or weaken the argument because it will not have a response from the drug companies if it is true. This does not change anything and so it does not affect the argument. Therefore D is incorrect.
E Strong patent laws prevent companies from using the information to create rival drugs.
If this was true, it would mean that the drug companies should be less fearful of imitators arising in the market because if there is a drug that copies their product, it would be illegal under these strong patent laws. This weakens the author’s argument because these companies should no longer be fearful when they release their information because the other companies cannot copy it. Therefore E should be the answer.