60 Years of Growth, Discovery

(As the editor of Alcon World News, I often penned an “Editor’s Note” to add a little perspective to the magazine’s contents. This is one such note, taken from an issue published in 2006 Alcon’s 60th year since incorporation.)

To fully appreciate how far Alcon has come in the 60 years since its incorporation, simply pick up a world map, or spin the nearest globe. (Or for even quicker reference, consult the map shown below, which was taken from the “Locations” page of the newly redesigned Alcon.com.)

Alcon is everywhere. Its products are used in nearly every country in the world, while company offices – with Sales, Manufacturing, Research and Development, or all three types of facilities – now exist in more than 75 nations, from Lima, Peru, to Minsk, Belarus, and many points in between. Over the course of six decades, Alcon has grown into a truly global company with more than 13,500 employees and annual sales that are expected to top $5 billion in 2007.

Not bad for a drive-through pharmacy launched with an initial investment of $6,000 back in the 1940s.

Much more will be made of Alcon’s 60-year milestone in the months to follow, with special events, commemorative items and other bits of nostalgia, so this issue of Alcon World News is simply intended to serve as a “teaser” of things to come as the company reflects on its past and looks forward to the future.

On the subject of “the future,” this issue also contains coverage of the recent Alcon Research Institute Symposium, which honored six of the world’s leading scientists for their efforts aimed at finding the drugs and devices that will be used to treat tomorrow’s eye diseases. As recipients of the coveted Alcon Prize, the researchers join an exclusive club of international scientists who have dedicated their careers to ophthalmic discovery.

In our “An Eye On” section dedicated to exploring diseases and conditions of the eye – and what Alcon is doing to address them – we take a closer look at ocular allergies and the recent launch of Pataday™ ophthalmic solution, the world’s first once-daily ocular allergy medication. Eye allergies affect an estimated 20 percent of the world’s industrialized population, representing an immense health care issue and an even larger opportunity for Alcon as company researchers work to pinpoint new, more effective treatments.

Finally, as you flip through this issue, one thing you may notice is the abundance of photographs that fill its pages. As we work to transform our company magazine into a more useful, appealing publication – and one that embodies our new branding guidelines – we will be looking for more images of our employees at work and at play. Beginning with this issue, in fact, we also will be showcasing some of the best images on the back cover of Alcon World News. For more information on submission guidelines, please take a look at the back of this publication. Then, send us your images!

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