Seoul, Sept 4 (AFP) An executive of a South Korean pharmaceutical company has been arrested over allegations he performed illegal clinical trials on his employees, the company said Wednesday. Auh Jin, 55, who is the head of Ahngook Pharmaceutical, has been "detained and currently being questioned by authorities for alleged violation of the pharmacy law", it said in a statement for investors.
Local news reports said the company allegedly collected its researchers' blood for clinical trials, and falsely reported to the government body that it had used dogs' blood instead. The reports accused of the company of hiring an individual without any medical training to collect their employees' blood.
The company also allegedly forced its researchers to take its yet-to-be approved medicines for trial purposes, the reports claimed. Power abuses at workplaces -- widely known in Korean as "gabjil" -- are known to be common in almost every sector in the South, from K-pop and film to healthcare and academia.
The case comes after several high-profile cases made global headlines, including the infamous "nut rage" episode, where Korean Air's heiress threw a temper tantrum at cabin crew after being served nuts in a bag instead of a bowl. Rigid company hierarchies, intense competition for jobs and deference to status are all known to be contributing to toxic work environments in Asia's fourth-largest economy. (AFP) IND
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