Medicine: Streptomycin Wonders

The wonder drug, streptomycin, was at last ready for general distribution among 1,600 U.S. hospitals. Last week the Civilian Production Administration, the drug's custodian, announced that current production (about 140,000 grams a month) would meet all demand—except for treatment of tuberculosis.

Streptomycin, an antibiotic containing a germ-killing soil organism called Actinomyces griseus, is especially effective against certain deadly "gram-negative" infections for which there was no known cure. It does the job in many a case where penicillin and the sulfa drugs fail. But it is expensive: about $16 a gram (average treatment: six...

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