Johnson & Johnson Vision is committed to transforming the world's vision. We strive to increase awareness of the importance of vision and vision care and to provide the world's best vision correction choices.
How we changed the world of contact lenses
Johnson & Johnson Vision Inc traces its origin back to Frontier Contact Lenses, a company founded in Buffalo, New York, in 1959 by Dr Allen Isen, George Sitterle and Dr Feinbloom. With 30 employees, Frontier manufactured a line of hard contact lenses through the 1970s. Its early growth was attributed to its highly successful toric lens.
The company added soft lenses to the product line in the late 1970s, and shortly afterwards began making its own soft lens plastic blanks. Frontier was among the first in the US to take this material, widely used in Europe, and combined it with the lathe cutting process to produce soft contact lenses.
After moving operations in the early 1960s from Buffalo, New York to Jacksonville, Florida, Frontier experienced exponential growth. Johnson & Johnson acquired Frontier in 1981 and renamed it Vistakon – this was to be the beginning of a very exciting three decades in our history.
The seeds of innovation
In the mid-80s Johnson & Johnson bought the rights for the Danalens technology from Michael Bay. This was SSM – a unique multi-patented process which allowed the company to mould lenses in a continuous soft state. This provided an entirely new standard of precision, eliminating the hydration distortions common to traditional hard state manufacturing. The result was a high quality lens that was virtually 100% repeatable and reproducible, combining excellent vision with comfort and convenience.
Creating the disposable contact lens category
In 1987 Vistakon changed the vision care industry forever with the invention of ACUVUE® – the world's first disposable soft contact lens. The launch of this product was first in the US, then the UK became the first European market to bring this unique product to Eye Care Professionals during 1988/89. The response was amazing and this new way of wearing contact lenses completely revolutionised the Nordic market. Patients and practitioners alike embraced the idea of throwing contact lenses away after one or two weeks of wear, dependent on the recommendation for the patient.
ACUVUE® was followed by the introduction of SUREVUE®, which enabled Eye Care Professionals to offer patients more choice.
By 1994, ACUVUE® and SUREVUE® accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new patients coming into contact lenses within the US contact lens market.
Daily disposable breakthrough
The next huge breakthrough in the contact lens market came in 1995 with the introduction of 1-DAY ACUVUE®; the world's first daily disposable contact lens that made contact lens wear more convenient for millions of wearers.
They were designed to be worn for a single day, then thrown away and replaced with a brand new, sterile pair, eliminating all contact lens cleaning and care. Some of the benefits were an unsurpassed level of comfort at that time, healthy crisp vision, convenience and cost elimination for cleaning solution products.
Continuing with the series of firsts, in 1994 Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Companies was the first contact lens manufacturer to advertise the benefits of contact lens wear to consumers through mass media – the response was remarkable. Today this is very much the norm with many retailers and manufacturers advertising contact lens brands.
The values that guide our decision making are spelled out in Our Credo. Put simply, Our Credo challenges us to put the needs and well-being of the people we serve first.
Robert Wood Johnson, former chairman from 1932 to 1963 and a member of the Company's founding family, crafted Our Credo himself in 1943, just before Johnson & Johnson became a publicly traded company. This was long before anyone ever heard the term "corporate social responsibility." Our Credo is more than just a moral compass. We believe it's a recipe for business success. The fact that Johnson & Johnson is one of only a handful of companies that have flourished through more than a century of change is proof of that.
Additional information illustrating Our Credo Values can be found at: