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.
Wyeth Laboratories Inc. produced this Ovral brand oral contraceptive around 1982. The 21 pills are in a blister pack that is inserted into a white plastic holder. The holder has the days of the week embossed around the perimeter. The pills come with a carrying sleeve decorated with flowers and a butterfly. The pill pack includes a paper insert with instructions for the user.
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