I am writing a novel about a future dystopian world in which no drugs are legal and all disabilities are 'illegal', and no one can get medication they need. My plan is to have 'illegal' chemists who formulate drugs for various conditions, physical and mental illnesses, in secret fairly simple labs.
How possible is that, really?
I've spent some time reading patents of various medications and it struck me that many steps of drug manufacture are relatively simple. For example, I looked at a number of medications for which a number of steps in creating the medication, required extremely simple compounds like acetic acid, various common solvents and processing at specific temperatures for specific times. And it struck me that in many cases, these steps could be done in very, very simple labs.
Do you think this is possible? Small, simple, hidden labs could manufacture medications?