Ovral Oral Contraceptive

Ovral 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 Wyeth Pharmaceutical Company of Münster, Germany, manufactured this Ovral brand oral contraceptive between 1993 and 1995. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) distributed these contraceptives worldwide to family planning programs. The distinctive logo of the “blue lady” taking her pill adorned all USAID oral contraceptive packages no matter which brand of contraceptive the package contained. Compared to other oral contraceptives of the time, these USAID pills are packaged very simply, lacking any kind of reusable container or memory aid. The "blue lady" packaging was introduced in the late 1960s in order to standardize packaging, provide three months supply in one package, and to provide adequate protection for the pills in tropical conditions. This package contains three silver blister packs of 28 pills, 21 hormonal white pills and 7 brown iron supplement pills. A white paper insert in four languages is also included.
Currently not on view
Object Name
contraceptive, oral
date made
before 1993-05
Wyeth-Pharma GmbH
place made
Germany: North Rhine-Westphalia, Münster
Physical Description
norgestrel, 0.5 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
ferrous fumarate, 75 mg (drug (brown tablet) active ingredients)
ethinyl estradiol, 0.05 mg (drug (white tablet) active ingredients)
foil (blister packs material)
cardboard (box material)
plastic (blister packs material)
paper (insert material)
overall: 10.6 cm x 4.2 cm x 1.9 cm; 4 3/16 in x 1 21/32 in x 3/4 in
overall: 1 5/8 in x 4 1/4 in x 3/4 in; 4.1275 cm x 10.795 cm x 1.905 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Dr. Linda S. Potter
Birth Control/Contraception
Women's Health
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Birth Control
Health & Medicine
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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