Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 21 Oral Contraceptive

Description (Brief)
The popularity of “the Pill” created a new market for pharmaceutical companies. For the first time, healthy women would be taking medication for an extended period of time. Pill manufacturers developed unique packaging in order to distinguish their product from those of their competitors and build brand loyalty. Packaging design often incorporated a “memory aid” to assist women in tracking their daily pill regimen, as well as styled cases to allow pills to be discreetly carried in bags and purses. The National Museum of American History’s Division of Medicine and Science’s collection of oral contraceptives illustrates some of the changes that the packaging and marketing of the Pill underwent from its inception in 1960 to the present.
The Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation of Raritan, New Jersey, produced this Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 brand oral contraceptive around 1984. The monthly dosage is in a 21-pill DialPak dispenser. The 7/7/7 referred to the three weeks of 7 active pills. Each week consists of varying ratios of norethindrone and ethinyl estradiol. This monthly regimen consists of only 21 pills, omitting the 7 inert pills at the end of the month. The contraceptive pack was distributed as a physician’s sample, not for sale.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1984
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)
foil, aluminum (package material)
plastic (dispenser material)
norethindrone, 0.5 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
norethindrone, 0.75 mg (drug (light peach tablet) active ingredients)
norethindrone, 1 mg (drug (peach tablet) active ingredients)
paper (insert material)
overall: 1.2 cm x 7.7 cm x 13 cm; 1/2 in x 3 1/16 in x 5 1/8 in
overall: 5/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 5 3/8 in; 1.5875 cm x 8.5725 cm x 13.6525 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Birth Control/Contraception
Health & Medicine
Birth Control
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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