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Then the Chinese ship it over, they distribute it to their friends, and they all get a decent supply of a totally novel drug for a few dollars a pill – compared to the 0 per pill that Turing is charging for Daraprim.
In fact, I encourage somebody to do exactly that as an act of civil disobedience/political activism and win themselves some free publicity.
So think about a generic drug manufacturer looking at the Daraprim situation.
There are fixed costs associated with building a new plant (or possible lost revenue on other drugs, if they switch production at an existing plant), getting samples of the drug, and figuring out how to make the generic product…with Daraprim, there simply isn’t a big enough patient population for a competitor to sell a “good amount” to.
The interesting aspect of this case is that the CEO of Turing got the opportunity. In the United States, pharmaceutical companies that discover a new drug are granted a 20-year term of exclusivity to reward them for the public service of drug research.
During this time, they can and do price-gouge as much as they want.
Moreover, there’s risk associated with starting a drug price war.