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    #16: Daily Disposable Contact Lenses

    Top 25 Innovations in Eye Care

    Disposable contact lensesSince their introduction, more than 500 million units of daily disposable contact lenses have been sold.Commercial contact lenses have been around since the 1970s, but it took a bold entrepreneur named Ron Hamilton to push the marketplace forward.

    Hamilton was working for CooperVision in the early 1990s when he decided to leave the company to try to develop the first daily disposable contact lens. Working from a makeshift laboratory in his back garden, Hamilton created the initial concept and business model for the manufacture and sale of daily disposable lenses.

    He eventually secured enough private and public funding to open a factory in Scotland and market the Premier Award(R) lens, the world's first daily disposable lens, in 1994. Hamilton's company, Award PLC, was eventually bought by Bausch & Lomb.

    Since that time, daily disposable contact lenses have gone on to sell more than 500 million units. In 2013, they represented 39.5% of global contact lens sales.

    Daily disposable contact lens as seen with the SPECTRALIS® Anterior Segment Module.Daily disposable contact lens as seen with the SPECTRALIS(R) Anterior Segment Module.

    In the last two decades, a number of innovations have expanded daily disposable lens options and comfort for patients. Here is a brief timeline of some of the more impactful events:

    • 1994 Award PLC sold Premier Award(R), the first daily disposable lens

    • 1997 CIBAVision introduced Focus Dailies(R)

    • 2000 Ron Hamilton launched Daysoft(R)uv, the first daily disposable with a UV filter

    • 2002 CIBAVision launched Focus Dailies Toric®, the  first daily disposable toric lens

    • 2004 Johnson & Johnson launched the 1 Day Acuvue Colors(R), the first daily disposable colored lens

    • 2008 Johnson & Johnson introduced the 1 Day Acuvue TruEye(R), the  first daily disposable silicon hydrogel (SiH) lens

    • 2012 Sauflon introduced Clariti 1 Day Toric(R), the  first SiH daily disposable toric lens

    • 2013 Alcon launched Dailies Total 1(R), the first water gradient SiH daily lens

    • 2014 Johnson & Johnson launched the Acuvue 1 Day Define(R), the first daily disposable lens with a limbal defining ring.

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