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.
Mead Johnson & Company of Evansville, Indiana, produced this Ovocon-50 brand oral contraceptive in 1978. The packaging consists of a white pouch decorated with an orange and pink flower. The 28-pill regimen is in a cardboard blister pack, divided into four rows of seven. To maintain the routine of taking a daily pill, Ovocon included a fourth week of inert green pills. A booklet entitled “What you should know about the pill” was included with this oral contraceptive starter pack.