Rohto Pharmaceutical to join in the launch of Alina Vision
Contributing to Society with a Unique Business Model
Expand a “business model with free cataract treatment” to the world


02/21/2018 11:00 am

Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Osaka City; President: Toshiaki Yoshino) is pleased to announce our investment in the launch of Alina Vision as a part of our challenge in supporting the “joy of seeing” for people all over the world. Alina Vision is being launched by respected international eye health organization, The Fred Hollows Foundation with social entrepreneurs, including David Green, who have been involved with saving many people from vision loss, particularly in emerging nations. The company is being established with the purpose of providing assistance through the “Affordable Eye-Care Model” more speedily and in a wider area. Rohto Pharmaceutical appreciates the company’s cause and takes a challenge in obtaining a sustainable business model that contributes to society beyond making donations or volunteering.

【About Alina Vision】
< Company Background >
To provide high quality eye-care to everyone in a sustainable business model, co-founders David Green (Executive Director), Ben Midberry (Managing Director) and The Fred Hollows Foundation (Co-Founder) have launched Alina Vision together. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), 253 million people worldwide suffer from visual impairment. Even though cataracts can be treated with a simple surgical procedure, 25.8% suffer from visual impairment due to cataracts. Cataract is the leading cause of blindness in low-income countries. This is due to a shortage of doctors and outdated eye care business models that result in low treatment volumes, efficiency, and high prices that people with low incomes cannot afford.
The “Affordable Eye-Care Model” is a business model that adopts a sliding scale of prices depending on the patient’s ability to pay by providing a consistent high-quality eye-care for all alongside a diversified range of related services (patients who can afford the regular fee will pay the full amount; patients who only afford to pay a little will pay a reduced amount; patients who cannot afford the fees at all are treated for free). This allows the service to be able to accept over 20% of non-paying patients in total, while also making a profit. David Green has been involved with “Aravind Eye Hospitals”*1 in India in promoting this particular business model that has successfully treated a total of 4 million patients in 2016. And now, Mr. Green has taken a leadership role in launching Alina Vision to accelerate the opening of clinics with this business model and implement the program at existing hospitals to provide high-quality eye-care, and save as many people from sight loss due to cataracts.

*1 Aravind Eye Hospitals is a group of 12 hospitals and clinics specializing in eye-care in the south of India. The group treated a total of 4 million patients in 2016, and conducted 460,000 surgeries: the largest number of surgeries per year in the world.

< Alina Vision Company Profile >
・ Company Name: ALINA VISION PTE. LTD.
・ Company Address:50 Raffles Place, #06-00, Singapore Land Tower, Singapore
・ Business Partners (Co-Founders): David Green (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR), Ben Midberry (MANAGING DIRECTOR), The Fred Hollows Foundation (Co-Founder), Rohto Pharmaceutical
・ Main Business: Opening hospitals; consultation services to existing hospitals.
・ Business Purpose: Providing high quality eye-care to all income strata using a sustainable business model.
・ Date of Establishment: July 7, 2017
・ Capital: 1.2 million US dollars (July 7, 2017) = approx. 127.4 million yen
・David Green (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR): A social entrepreneur who has been developing the “Affordable Eye-Care Model” for more than 30 years in many areas, especially in India. Mr. Green has provided tremendous support for the establishment of the world-famous Aurolab, which has been making the market for cataract treatment lenses more affordable with costs for lenses going from $300 down to $2 by reducing production costs, lowering margins and helping to adapt the eye care business model to high-volumes, and low-costs. Low cost medical consumables like the ones pioneered by Aurolab are an integral part of the “Affordable Eye-Care Model.”
・Ben Midberry (MANAGING DIRECTOR): Mr. Midberry has a lot of experience in financing companies that serve low-income communities with profitable social enterprise business models. Prior to co-founding Alina Vision, he was a Vice President at Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance group, where he led its lending to healthcare organizations and managed the Deutsche Bank Eye Fund I, a social investment fund for eye hospitals using the “Affordable Eye-Care Model.”
・The Fred Hollows Foundation (Co-Founder): The Fred Hollows Foundation is a non-profit international development organization focusing on treating and preventing blindness, training doctors, nurses and health workers and providing support to medical facilities. The Foundation was established in Sydney, Australia 25 years ago and is supported by the Australian public, the Australian Government and international funders. It operates in 25 countries around the world and has saved over two million people from blindness.

【Rohto’s Goal in Investing】
As a leader among eye-care companies, Rohto Pharmaceutical has been involved with various eye-care support activities, such as providing cataract treatment and free eye exams in Asia and Africa in order to deliver the “Joy of Seeing” to the world. However, in reality, cataracts remain the number one cause of blindness in many countries even though it can be treated by surgery. We need a sustainable system to tackle this continuous problem. This is why Rohto Pharmaceutical made a decision to join Alina Vision. Rohto Pharmaceutical wants to get involved with Alina Vision not by making donations, but through investments so that we can participate in the company’s development and spread this sustainable business model worldwide to provide high-quality eye-care to everyone.

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・“NEVER SAY NEVER” is a registered trademark (Registration number 5838870) of Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

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