A Look at Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
BY JASON J. NICHOLS, OD, MPH, PHD, FAAO
Laura Angelini, president, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. – North America
This month’s industry focus is on Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc. (JJVCI), a long-standing global market leader in the contact lens industry. I recently had the pleasure to speak with Laura Angelini, president, JJVCI – North America.
Q Ms. Angelini, please tell us a bit about your company in terms of its history and direction.
JJVCI began in 1959 as Frontier Contact Lenses, a small lens manufacturer in Buffalo, N.Y. As Frontier grew, it opened a branch in Jacksonville, Fla., headed by Dr. Seymour Marco, who developed the etafilcon A material during the 1970s. Johnson & Johnson saw its potential and acquired Frontier in 1981. It was renamed Vistakon in the United States, and as it expanded globally, the name was changed to JJVCI.
The company continued to build on Dr. Marco’s foundation, establishing a tradition of delivering transformational products into the marketplace. Some of the company’s industry firsts include the first disposable lens, the first daily disposable lens, and the first silicone hydrogel daily disposable.
JJVCI is also committed to overall eye health. Our company vision is to bring healthy vision to everyone, everywhere, every day. As part of this vision, the company has incorporated UV protection into its lenses since 1998.
JJVCI operates globally and has led in entering new markets. Our two manufacturing facilities are at the global headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., and in Limerick, Ireland.
Q Tell us about any new products or new developments in which JJVCI is involved.
We recently launched a –2.75D cylinder for Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism. We believe that the Acuvue Oasys brand will now provide coverage for 98% of spherical and astigmatic patients.
In April 2015, we will launch 1-Day Acuvue Define. Built on the 1-Day Acuvue Moist platform, 1-Day Acuvue Define is designed to enhance the natural appearance of the iris and to add more dimension and radiance without changing eye color.
We will also launch 1-Day Acuvue Moist for Presbyopia in the United States in 2015. This lens will provide great acuity and the level of comfort and moisture that the aging eye needs.
We are developing a customized suite of solutions to help practitioners grow their businesses. We also initiated a new strategy in the United States to help with patient affordability, including new packaging and a Unilateral Price Policy (UPP) for key brands. We believe that this will allow practitioners to refocus the doctor-patient conversation on eye health and product performance rather than on cost, while allowing patients to make the best purchasing decisions based on quality, clinical need, and price.
Q Tell us your vision for the contact lens field in the short term (less than 5 years) and in the long term (20 years from now).
JJVCI will continue to shape the industry and the marketplace. We intend to provide the best contact lens experience to patients and to provide practitioners with products and tools to help them succeed in their practices.
Long term, we believe the future of contact lenses is very promising. Daily disposable lenses will continue to expand. There are opportunities to make contact lenses even more comfortable, healthy, and beautiful. If we can offer products that can really solve unmet patient needs, we can create a future in which contact lenses are part of everyday life for many more patients. CLS
Dr. Nichols is an assistant vice president for industry research development and professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as well as editor-in-chief of Contact Lens Spectrum and editor of the weekly email newsletter Contact Lenses Today. He has received research funding or honoraria from Vistakon, Alcon, and Allergan.