Commercial contact lenses have been around since the 1970s, but it took a bold entrepreneur named Ron Hamilton to push the marketplace forward.
Since 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(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: