[Final Diagnosis: Kickback Addiction Disorder] (3) Ordering kickback delivery to salesperson is a unfair labor

Feb. 28, 2020, 01:34 AM.

Korea Center for Investigative Journalism(KCIJ)-Newstapa is launching ‘The Vaccine Project: Medicine, Pharma and Money Project,’ which diagnoses the national medical system, the pharmaceutical industry, and the government’s monitoring and supervision functions on them.

Healthcare services and drugs are directly related to the lives and property of the people. But as the Invossa scandal showed, the collusion of medicine, moneyl and power is deepening and the public nature of healthcare is often disregarded. Such trend has stemmed from the health sector, which has been dominated by capital and industrial logic in recent years.

KCIJ will ‘inject vaccines’ to ensure that the national medical system and pharma industry maintain their value as public good and remain sustainable, and that the government supervise them properly. The Vaccine Project will be continued for the next three years.

As its first series, KCIJ reports local pharma companies’ illegal kickback sales practices over three days starting December 18, 2019. 

If you’re familiar with the industry or healthcare system, send your tips or leaks to vaccine@newstapa.org. - Editor’s Note

I’m a salesman for a pharma company named Inist Bio Pharmaceutical. Ever since first entered the pharma sales, I’ve worked at three companies. It’s been eight years.

Now I know this industry quite well that I can throw names and prices of specific type of drugs I sell. But to tell little bit about myself, I actually majored computer science in college. As my major didn’t suit me well, I decided to find a job in a different field. 

When I first stepped in to the pharma industry, I didn't know that my job is to sell drugs by paying doctors. Senior staffs didn’t even teach me how to give kickback. No one learns it from someone else. You learn it by your own experience and get to know how the industry works.

I mainly targeted private clinics in Seoul, particularly small dermatologist clinics in the neighborhood. I paid my client doctors cash in exchange for prescribing Inist brand’s drugs. 

In pharma industry, it's illegal to give out kickback in a compensation for exclusively prescribing certain brand. Doctors move so fast to put money away as soon as they get an envelope full of cash -- even inside his office, when there’s just between two of us. 

The receivers know it’s a shame to accept the money. The company, which orders us to become their kickback delivery man, also know it’s illegal. The company delivers the dirty money by salesmen’s hands. 

Well, here’s my story.

Are you tasked to deliver illegal kickbacks?
Blow the whistle to The Vaccine Project by KCIJ-Newstapa

Reporting by Wooram Hong, Jiyoon Kim
Video by Sang-chan Lee, Joon-sik Oh, Hyung-seok Choi, Young-cheol Shin
Video Edited by Jisung Jung
CG by Dong-woo Jung
Design by Do-hyeon Lee 

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