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Patents, Antibiotics, and Autarky in Spain

Ana Romero De Pablos


Patents on antibiotics were introduced in Spain in 1949. Preliminary research reveals diversification in the types of antibiotics: patents relating to penicillin were followed by those relating to streptomycin, erythromycin and tetracycline. There was also diversification in the firms that applied for patents: while Merck & Co. Incorporated and Schenley Industries Inc. were the main partners with Spanish antibiotics manufacturers in the late 1940s, this industrial space also included many others, such as Eli Lilly & Company, Abbott Laboratories, Chas. Pfizer & Co. Incorporated, and American Cyanamid Company in the mid-1970s. The introduction of these drugs in Spain adds new elements to a re-evaluation of the autarkic politics of the early years of the Franco dictatorship. 

Key words: Patents Antibiotics - Industry - Franco dictatorship 

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