ModiCon Oral Contraceptives

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 ModiCon brand oral contraceptive around 1977. The foil package contains a 21-pill Dialpak dispenser. Ortho trademarked the term DialPak in 1965, and was the first company to release their medication in a memory-aid device, now ubiquitous among makers of oral contraceptives.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
ca 1979
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
foil (package material)
norethindrone (drug active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol (drug active ingredients)
overall: 13 cm x 8 cm x 1.5 cm; 5 1/8 in x 3 5/32 in x 19/32 in
overall: 5/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 4 7/8 in; 1.5875 cm x 8.5725 cm x 12.3825 cm
place made
United States: New Jersey, Raritan
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Birth Control/Contraception
Health & Medicine
Birth Control
Georgetown Pharmacy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Matthew E. Donahue, M.D., in memory of Francis Donahue
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.