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Recently, public outrage over "predatory pricing" of life-saving drugs has shone a light on the pricing practices of giant pharmaceutical companies. In one example, a brand-name drug that cost 180 dollars for ten vials in 1980 now costs well over 14,700 dollars for the same ten vials. Pharmaceutical companies claim the price increase is required in order to cover the costs of research, manufacturing, and ongoing production of such drugs. Critics claim that the price increase is an attempt to hold patients and insurance companies hostage to the companies' profit line.

Which of the following pieces of information would indicate MOST strongly whether the pharmaceutical company that produces the example pricing increase is participating in "price gouging" or simply attempting to maintain a minimum level of profit?

A

Whether or not the manufacturing costs of the drug have increased.

B

Whether or not the CEO of the company has received a bonus linked to increased company profits.

C

Whether or not insurance companies cover the cost of the brand-name drug versus the generic versions.

D

Whether or not the drug is off-patent and whether or not competing generic versions of the drug have been produced.

E

Whether or not the patient has opted to continue to purchase the brand-name drug versus the generic versions.

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