Demulen 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.

Description (Brief)

Searle & Company produced this Demulen brand oral contraceptive in San Juan, Puerot Rico, around 1975. Searle was the first company to manufacture birth control pills. The 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. The starter kit includes a prescription blank and a paper insert with directions for use for the patient, as well as a promotional booklet for “the Pill.”

Date Made: ca 1975

Maker: G. D. Searle and Company

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Puerto Rico: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Subject: Birth Control/ContraceptionWomen's Health


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Medicine, Health & Medicine, Birth Control


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Gladys Abell and Lester D. Johnson, Jr., M.D.

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1981.0760.012.ACatalog Number: 1981.0760.012.AAccession Number: 1981.0760

Object Name: contraceptive, oral

Physical Description: ethynodiol diacetate, 1 mg (drug active ingredients)ethinyl estradiol, .05 mg (drug active ingredients)Measurements: overall: 18.7 cm x 11.2 cm x 1 cm; 7 3/8 in x 4 7/16 in x 3/8 inoverall: 3/4 in x 4 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 1.905 cm x 11.43 cm x 19.05 cmoverall, pill pack: 3/8 in x 3 5/8 in x 2 in; .9525 cm x 9.2075 cm x 5.08 cmoverall, booklet: 1/8 in x 3 5/8 in x 4 1/2 in; .3175 cm x 9.2075 cm x 11.43 cm


Record Id: nmah_1379856

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