Johnson & Johnson Vision Care began in 1959 as Frontier Contact Lenses, a small firm in Buffalo, New York that manufactured hard contact lenses. As the company grew, it opened a branch in Jacksonville, Florida (USA) headed by Dr. Seymour Marco, an optometrist and a visionary. In the 1970s Dr. Marco developed etafilcon A, a hydrogel material that broke new ground in the contact lens industry by allowing for the creation the first disposable contact lens.
Johnson & Johnson acquired Frontier Contact Lenses in 1981, and soon after renamed the company VISTAKON®. A few years later, VISTAKON® secured a patent for a proprietary manufacturing process called Stabilized Soft Molding (SSM) that set the stage for one of the biggest launches in vision care history. In 1987, VISTAKON® introduced ACUVUE® in the United States, the worlds’ first mass-market disposable contact lens. Soon after, the product began to sell globally and in 1993 became the number one selling contact lens worldwide.
The 1990’s brought another market breakthrough with the introduction of 1-DAY ACUVUE®, providing proven eye health benefits of sterile lenses every day. Global expansion also began as offices opened in Japan, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Singapore. In 1999, the worldwide business became Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, although the VISTAKON® name was maintained by the U.S. business. Today, Johnson & Johnson Vision sells products in 103 countries around the world.
Johnson & Johnson’s vision business has continued its track record of growth and innovation, and is the world’s leading manufacturer of contact lenses. The company team has a robust clinical agenda that has translated into a wide range of novel products to meet patient needs.
In 2017, Johnson & Johnson acquired Abbott Medical Optics (AMO), a leader in ophthalmic solutions providing technologies in cataract surgery and laser refractive surgery (LASIK), and products in consumer eye health. This surgical portfolio, together with Johnson & Johnson Vision Care’s contact lens portfolio, became Johnson & Johnson Vision.
More than a quarter of a century after revolutionizing the contact lens industry with the introduction of the first disposable soft contact lens, Johnson & Johnson Vision continues its course to bring healthy vision to everyone, everywhere, every day through new technologies and innovative products.