Alcon Celebrates 75 Years of Eye Care Innovation

Alcon original pharmacy - 1945
Alcon original pharmacy - 1945

Alcon, the global leader in eye care dedicated to helping people see brilliantly, marks the company’s 75th anniversary with its Brilliant History. Brilliant Future. celebration. On May 16, 1947, Alcon Laboratories, Inc. was incorporated and began manufacturing specialty pharmaceutical products in Fort Worth, Texas. Today, Alcon has complementary businesses in Surgical and Vision Care and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland – a country where it has been rooted for nearly 50 years.

To recognize this significant milestone, throughout the year, Alcon will highlight its heritage of breakthrough innovation, industry firsts, ongoing dedication to Eye Care Professionals (ECPs) and their patients, and commitment to increasing access to eye care.

“When Robert Alexander and William Conner combined the first syllables of their last names to create ‘Alcon,’ no one could have predicted that one small pharmacy would help shape the eye care industry and grow to become the global eye care leader we are today,” said David Endicott, Alcon CEO. “We embrace our leadership role in the industry while staying true to the foundation our business was built on 75 years ago: cultivating meaningful insights from Eye Care Professionals to address unmet eye care needs and increasing access to eye care. Our Brilliant History gives us the confidence to realize our Brilliant Future.”

Robert Alexander and William Conner
Robert Alexander and William Conner

From the introduction of the first Droptainer® eye drop dispensing bottle in 1953 to the 1990 launch of Focus®, the first soft contact lens exclusively for periodic replacement, to the 1994 approval of the AcrySof® IQ intraocular lens (IOL), the first time a material had been developed specifically for an IOL, Alcon has a legacy of industry-leading innovation. Building on this, Alcon Research and Development and Manufacturing teams have delivered an unparalleled new product portfolio, including more than 50 launches since 2018. Currently, Alcon has more than 100 pipeline products under development to continue delivering sight-correcting and sight-saving products and services.

Alcon is also helping people see brilliantly by expanding the availability of quality eye care and access around the globe. This includes innovative programs that provide free or low-cost eye care to patients in underserved communities. For instance:

  • Alcon’s Phaco Development (PD) program has been empowering surgeons to provide sustainable access to phaco procedures, the standard in cataract care, in low-to-middle income countries. Since the program’s inception 14 years ago, approximately 5,500 Alcon PD-trained surgeons have performed more than 7.5 million phaco procedures.
  • Alcon Cares Project 100 reduces cataract blindness by donating phaco equipment to accelerate surgeon training and support patient care in marginalized areas worldwide.
  • Additionally, through its partners, the Alcon Foundation provides monetary donations to expand quality eye care and access to all. Over the last 10 years, the Alcon Foundation donated $42 million in monetary grants and Alcon Cares provided $543 million in product donations supporting more than 6,500 medical missions.

While the eye care industry has drastically changed over the past seven decades, Alcon’s commitment to helping people see brilliantly remains steadfast. As the industry continues to adapt to the evolving demands of today, Alcon is proud to be at its helm, preparing for the needs of tomorrow.


About Alcon

Alcon helps people see brilliantly. As the global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning over 75 years, we offer the broadest portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. Our Surgical and Vision Care products touch the lives of more than 260 million people in over 140 countries each year living with conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases, and refractive errors. Our more than 24,000 associates are enhancing the quality of life through innovative products, partnerships with Eye Care Professionals, and programs that advance access to quality eye care. Learn more at

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