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.
Searle & Company produced this Low-Dose Demulen brand oral contraceptive in San Juan, Puerto Rico, around 1976. Searle was the first company to manufacture birth control pills. These Low-Dose Demulen pills came in a yellow plastic compact case. Inside the compact is a 21-pill blister pack that organizes the monthly pill regimen into weekly rows, labeled by day of the week.
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