Demulen-28 Oral Contraceptive

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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.
G. D. Searle and Company of Chicago, Illinois, produced this Demulen-28 brand oral contraceptive around 1979. This 28 pill golden blister pack is contained in Searle’s trademarked “Compack” yellow plastic case. The monthly dosage is arranged in four rows of 7 pills, with the day of the week at the top of each column. This pack includes a pamphlet describing proper usage. To continue the routine of taking a daily pill, Ovulen-28 contains a fourth week of pills that are inert. This object was donated to the Museum as a dispenser that did not come under the claims of David Wagner’s patent (seen in object 1995.0057.01).
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1979
G. D. Searle and Company
place made
Puerto Rico: San Juan, San Juan
Physical Description
paper (leaflet material)
plastic (tablet dispenser case material)
ethynodiol diacetate, 1 mg (drug active ingredients)
foil (blister pack material)
ethinyl estradiol, 50 mcg. (drug active ingredients)
overall: 9.8 cm x 6.4 cm x 1 cm; 3 7/8 in x 2 1/2 in x 3/8 in
overall: 3/8 in x 3 7/8 in x 2 1/2 in; .9525 cm x 9.8425 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
David P. Wagner
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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