Ortho Tri-Cyclen 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.
The Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation of Raritan, New Jersey, produced this Ortho-Tri-Cyclen 28 oral contraceptive around 1996. The pills are in a ring-shaped blister pack that fits into a blue and white plastic compact. The inside lid of the compact had a space for a prescription label and notes the patent number for the compact, 4,165,708. A black arrow in the center points to the days of the week around the wheel. This allowed the user to set the day of her first pill and track her daily use from there. This prescription contains 28 pills: 7 green pills, 14 blue pills, and 7 white pills. The package includes directions for use.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1996
Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation
Physical Description
norgestimate, 0.180 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
norgestimate, 0.215 mg (drug (light blue tablet) active ingredients)
norgestimate, 0.250 mg (drug (blue tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.035 mg (drug active ingredients)
plastic (packaging material)
foil (packaging material)
paper (insert material)
overall: 9.3 cm x 8.6 cm x 1.3 cm; 3 11/16 in x 3 3/8 in x 1/2 in
overall: 1/2 in x 3 3/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 1.27 cm x 8.5725 cm x 9.2075 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Company, Inc
Birth Control/Contraception
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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