Ok, so, generally in the free market, unless some massive shortage of raw materials comes out of the blue, prices usually flow along linear scales that reflect the value of a product.
Even rare products that are hard to get. I can get old microprocessors no longer being manufactured for a mere 5x markup or so, or any one of millions of esoteric electronic parts that are made using processes that are more complex and advanced than synthesis of most pharmaceutical drugs.
So, how do these massive markups of off patent drugs happen like this? If there’s a half dozen companies making all the off patent drugs, you would expect the market prices to reflect the cost of raw materials, production, labor, and a modest profit margin. If only one company is making a drug and charging $750 a pill, why don’t other companies compete with them?
The news articles mention things like “manufacturing licenses”. What? If I produce a pure substance, verified with chromatography and NMR and other methods to be pure enough to be safe for human consumptions, why can’t I stick it into a pill and sell it? All I should have to have is a factory licensed and inspected to produce pharmaceuticals and a certificate from a third party lab verifying the drug is at least as pure and free of side products/contaminants as the original patented pharmaceutical the FDA originally approved.
In such a world, nobody could raise prices 5000 percent because no one would buy their good, they’d just fill out an order form for the next competitor. What gives?