Cold Drugs. Circulation, Production and Intelligence of Antibiotics in Post-WWII Years

Mauro Capocci


The paper details how the earliest antibiotics were subject to a strict control during the earliest phase of the Cold War. Because of antibiotics strategic and economic value, Anglo-American Governments restricted circulation of scientists, techno-scientific know-how and technology related to penicillin production, as well as closely controlling the circulation of the drugs in the Communist countries. These efforts are documented by archival documents, testifying how drugs were actual instruments of propaganda and political strategies, affecting pharmaceutical development both in the Western and the Eastern bloc. 

Key words: Penicillin Antibiotics - Cold War 

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